Educators and Students from Past to Present Celebrate KJH’s 50 Years

Charter teachers from 1964: Richard Peer (Band), Jim Stout (Shop), and Rebecca Sellars (Science)

Past and present teachers combined in April for a celebratory dinner and evening of reminiscing decades of Kimmons Junior High. The red-cloth-lined tables covered with scrapbooks, yearbooks, and other memorabilia brought back many memories. Advanced Orchestra performed peaceful, powerful music. Raider Reps served an elegant meal of pork medallions, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, and cake. Afterwards, Coach Fonville stepped up to the podium and reviewed Kimmons’ history from past to present.

“In the fall of 1964, Kimmons opened its doors,” Coach Fonville began. “These fifty years have been great, but it won’t stop here.”

Next, guests were treated to a video created by Ms. Mullin’s Journalism classes.

“The video definitely summed up Kimmons, and Vitamin C’s ‘Graduation Song’ touched a soft spot in me,” Vanida Maymoundok, 9th, said.

Ms. Core, who attended Kimmons in Junior High in the 1960s, invited the crowd to walk down memory lane with her, which included funny stories about former teachers like Richard Peer, Kimmons’ first Band director.

“I remember that the Kimmons Band always made ones under Mr. Peer’s directions,” Ms. Core said. “I also remember an awesome fish fry that he had at his house for us after contest one year.”

In addition to stories recounted by Ms. Core, Representative George McGill also spoke.

“I would encourage you to learn the history of those who came before you,” Mr. McGill said. “There’s something special about walking down these halls where generations have walked before . . . Excellence is never an accident. It is a result of high intentions. Choice, not chance, built this school.”

Alumni Alexandra Cruz shared her memories of Kimmons and her future goals.

“Speaking at the dinner reminded me that all I have achieved at this point truly began at Kimmons, and I must be doing something right,” Alexandra said.

Bao Ha, 9th, spoke of his appreciation of Kimmons’ teachers who helped him transition as a newcomer from Vietnam and friends who welcomed him.

“They [teachers] not only teach education, but they also taught me how to be a great person who makes people love and remember me for what I’ve done,” Bao said. “That is what makes me the person I am today. I am thankful for that. Thank you teachers, thank you for teaching me how to be that person. Don’t forget about friends. They are also part of the team, too. We are growing up side by side, teaching and learning from each other. That is why Kimmons is my second home. I will miss Kimmons a lot next year when I go to Northside, and I will always remember all the things I’ve been taught for three years.”

Bao’s fellow Raider Reps and several teachers, past and present, teared up at his kind words of gratitude and laughed at his humor.

“Bao is such a sweet kid!” Ms. Mullin said. “He exemplifies why we teachers do what we do and inspires us to persevere amidst the challenges of being educators.”

With the presentations complete and guests full of cake and recollections, Principal Watkins stood to give a final farewell.

“Thank you one and all for being beside us all these years,” Principal Watkins said.