Seniors, Teachers, and Alumni Recognized During Celebration
The stories were flowing and the laughs were resounding at the Union City Community High School Alumni Association’s 143rd Annual Alumni Banquet, held Saturday, May 25, 2019 in The Commons at Union City Jr/ Sr High School. The graduating class of 2019 was there in full-force, as was the featured class of 1969, showing their support for an organization of which they’d soon be members- the Alumni Association. In all, over 225 people were in attendance.
Welcomed by Alumni Association President Bill Corbin, the festivities began with a delicious meal catered by Bouser’s Barn followed by the recognition of this year’s graduating class. Those in attendance were treated to an address, “Looking Forward and Backward from 1969”, presented by John Lowe. Lowe shared memories of life during the 1960s, mentioning the comradery that was developed within the great class of 1969 due, in part, to the families and neighborhoods within which they all grew up. Joining Mr. Lowe at the podium was classmate and nationally known children’s book author and poet laureate of West Virginia, Mark Harshman, who ended the address with a poem written about school and the students, therein. It is fun to note that Mr. Harshman had addressed the class of 2019 once before, during his author visit to North Side Elementary School when they were, likely, in First Grade.
Superintendent Aaron Black, Class of 2000 and Vice President of the Alumni Association, took time next to present this year’s Alumni Association scholarships and Teacher Grant awards. This year $25,000 was given out to students and staff from Randolph Eastern School Corporation. Nine, $2,000 scholarships were presented to the following 2019 class members- Reagan Hoggatt, Jacob Curry, Abigail Crowder, Maria Casillas-Romero, Sophia Spence, Emma Brewer (in honor and memory of Gertrude Bailey), Courtney Whitesel (in honor and memory of Zelma Bailey), and Mason Good and Emalee Bocanegra (both in honor of past coach, Mr. Harry Allison). Madison Fischer and Sydney Ralston each received a $500 scholarship in memory of alumnus and former RESC employee Bertie Teegarden. An additional $1000 scholarship was made possible through an anonymous donation and was presented to Madison Tye-Jones.
Teachers receiving Teacher Grants, aimed at supporting teacher morale and initiative by funding creative projects within their buildings and classrooms not otherwise affordable due to budget constraints, included Mrs. Sarah Black, Mr. Matt Carroll, Mrs. Alyssa Clevenger, Mr. Blake Clevenger, Mr. Brad Hoggatt, Miss Becky Kuehl, Miss Jennifer Mayo, Mrs. Jessica Steed, Mrs. Diane Sutter, Mrs. Jennifer Vincent, Mrs. Nancy Whitted, and Mr. John Zakelj. This year was the fifth year these grants were made available.
Each year, the Alumni Association selects an alumnus to recognize as Alumni of the Year. The Alumni of the Year award is based on a life-example that Union City graduates can turn their small-town roots into success that helps to make a real difference. Fields can include business, government, or community service and the scope can be national, regional or local.The 2019 recipient, David Young ’67, is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, an experience that led to a role as a defense contractor in a 42-year career that included leadership of five companies and service to all branches of the military. Twenty-first century activities have included entrepreneurial start-ups in the fields of real estate, auto manufacturing, and television production. He is executive producer of “ToyMakerz”, a History Channel series for enthusiasts of customized vehicles.
Dave is active in philanthropy in Northern Virginia, with a focus on education, but he has graciously remembered his hometown with active scholarship giving that totals nearly $500,000. Future plans in Union City include broadening the educational scope to support of vocational and focused-career specialties, such as nursing.
Sponsors for this year’s event included Hydrojet Signs and Fabricating, Midwest Bankers, Wayne Bank, First Bank of Richmond, Equis Consulting Group, Frank Miller Lumber Co., Citizens State Bank, Merchants Bank, Kerns’ Bros., Kevin Addington/ Edward Jones, and Union City Redefined. Special thanks to the Alumni Association Executive Board for their work behind the scenes to make sure this event was successful- Aaron Black ‘00, Mary Brumbaugh ‘62, Bill Corbin ‘62, Angie Cross ‘85, Luanna Hollowell ‘65, Penny Hoover ‘62, Bob Miller ‘87, Jan Passmore ‘58, Destiny Shafer ‘14, Wendy Smith ‘83, Cheryl VanCamp ‘88, Jennifer Vincent ‘90, Darlene Wymer ‘70, and Terry Wymer ‘70.
Those looking to contribute financially to the Union City Alumni Association can do so by contacting any of the members of the Executive Board. Because the Association has a 501(c)(3) status, they can receive and manage both present gifts and future bequests. Please contact the Alumni Association to discuss avenues of support that include cash, stock, bonds, and real property.