Friday, February 13, 2009

Assembly Brings Back Great Memories for J C Booth Educators and Students

Sara Goza, the school’s first principal, opened the school in 1978 and remained principal until 1991. Booth has only had four principals in its 30-year history. Goza’s successor was Mel Hunt, 1991-1997, followed by Lyn Wenzel, 1997-2003. The school’s current principal is Ted Lombard.

Both former and current students, teachers, administrators and staff members of J.C. Booth Middle enjoyed an hour-long assembly on February 13 in honor of the school’s 30-year anniversary.

Among the notables in attendance were Fayette County School Superintendent John DeCotis, who taught physical education at the school 20 years ago, and retired administrator Harry Sweatman, who served as assistant principal from 1982-85. Booth’s first principal, Sara Goza, was unable to attend the celebration. Sweatman, the guest speaker, recognized her accomplishments and contributions to the school but not before setting the stage of 1978, the year the school opened.

“This was before schools had PCs [personal computers], there were no cell phones and a new pair of Nike tennis shoes cost $15,” Sweatman told the students who gasped in disbelief over the price of the shoes.

The Warrior cheerleaders entertained former students from the late 70s and 80s as they performed routines from the time period. The crowd of current and past students laughed as they watched and listened to the old cheers that were basic and simple compared to the routines performed today.

A big moment in the celebration was when the contents of a 1988 time capsule were revealed. Sandy Parrin, a former Booth teacher who is now a counselor at McIntosh High, had been in charge of filling the time capsule that was buried behind the library.

“I just told students to throw things in. When I learned that they were digging it up, I was really nervous because I couldn’t remember all of the contents,” she said.

The plastic box that had been used to house the items suffered some damage over the years, allowing water to seep in and destroy numerous letters that Parrin remembered students writing. Items intact included a rubber pencil, yo-yo, coins with 80s dates and a bottle of hairspray.

“The hairspray represented the big hair that everyone had back then,” explained Parrin.

Current students and staff presented contents for a new time capsule that will be buried in the school's courtyard and opened in 30 years. Among the contents were newspaper clippings from the 2009 inauguration, DVDs of popular songs and TV shows, programs from band and chorus concerts, a flash drive of pictures of current students and one of the National Science Olympiad gold medals won by the Science Olympiad team.

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