For those of you here who attended Center School, were a parent or teacher there, we all have something in common, a special kind of bond. We were fortunate enough to be at a terrific school with wonderful educational possibilities and the opportunity to make lifelong friends and have priceless memories of a very special place! So we are here today to celebrate the school, the education and the friendships and especially the memories that we all have. We will leave some of those memories and some of those photos here at the Historical Society so people will always know what a special place Center School was. There are 26 boxes of archives here and we owe a debt of gratitude to the New Canaan Historical Society, to Nancy Geary, Executive Director, Donna Dearth, Assistant Director and Michael Murphy, Librarian Archivist, who were all so very helpful and allowed us to use this incredible place for our celebration.
Many people were helpful to make this celebration possible. There is a list of all the volunteers at the welcome tent, many of whom spent hours at my house this week taping these many hundreds of photos onto the displays and helped with the set up yesterday and today. I must mention a few in particular. Louann Bianco contacted me as soon as she saw the announcement on Face Book and offered her help. I did not know her, but she has become a special friend. She proceeded to give the Celebration a presence on Face Book, researched to get teachers’ addresses and phone numbers, and when she found someone had passed away she printed the obituary and produced an amazing memory book of all those who are no longer with us. She even took the train from Springfield, MA to come spend the day helping me at the Historical Society and helped with set up yesterday and today. The other person who helped immensely as a sounding board, provider of photos and memorabilia and photo shopper extraordinaire is my friend and colleague Elaine Dormer Halas Scott. I also must thank Pete Stair a volunteer here at the Historical Society who provided help and advice about all the AV stuff and provided all the equipment for the slide show, the movie, including adding the new intro and subtitles, and the set up for the Center Swingers music. My son, Chris, remastered all the albums rescuing the fabulous songs from vinyl records over 40 years old. And last but not least, my husband, Bill, who not only helped me by transporting all of these displays from our house, but also photographed each display board, made a video tour of the exhibits this morning and has been taking candid photos all morning.
Before I introduce Steve Rubin, I would like us all to say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing America the Beautiful! Every day at Center School started with the Pledge over the loudspeaker by a chosen student and so should this celebration. We will follow the song with a moment of silent prayer for all those we taught with and learned with who are no longer with us.
~ The Pledge of Allegiance, America the Beautiful, Silent Prayer ~
Please remember to look at the beautiful remembrance book of obituaries located in the back left corner of the room. Since it was the 75th anniversary of D-Day this week and I know many of you have friends and relatives who were there or in other ways served our country in WWII, I have put on display four incredible year books that the students of Center School created during the War years. I have copied some pictures and class photos from them. Because they are fragile, they are under plexiglass, but may be viewed at 2:00 when I have a docent who will turn the pages for you to view them. You may also view them any time that you personally come to the NCHS.
And now I would like to introduce a man who needs no introduction, Steve Rubin! His level of passion and dedication inspired the whole Center School family! The innovative academic and extracurricular programs he developed as principal from 1965 to 1983 made Center School the exciting, extraordinary and successful home for learning that students, parents and teachers loved.
- Steve Rubin speaks
Next, I would like to introduce Hazel Hobbs, an outstanding parent volunteer, writing coordinator and teacher at Center Schoo,l who went on to become a headmistress, principal and Chairman of the New Canaan Board of Education. As the president of the PTC, she took on the project of capturing the essence of Center School with her movie Center In On Kids.
- Hazel Hobbs speaks
Thank you all so much for coming!
Enjoy your day