GRAPEVINE: Reminiscing About Graduation from Broadway Junior High School in 1954

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | March 03, 2019
When talking with most people just the mere mention of moving to a new home or area brings an audible groan.  Since I have been through several moves in my lifetime, I too, can be heard making that groan.  But I have learned that if you are a pack rat, as I am, a move can be good for the soul.  Just a note, do not toss anything away until you have checked it carefully. 
 
Where am I going with this story?  Well this past week I found some pretty valuable keepsakes, which meant a lot to me.  In a small folder I found all twelve of my report cards, many certificates I had been awarded for perfect attendance; for writing; and for reading a certain number of books.  I also found some school newspapers from Broadway and RW and Girls State and several programs from different events. 
 
I opened up a carefully folded typed sheet of paper and enclosed in it was the ninth grade graduation program from Broadway Junior High.  The typed paper contained the speech I delivered as valedictorian of my class.  The program stated that Patty Yoho gave the devotional and Bill Bryan gave the salutatorian address.  Frank Martino read the class history and the class will was presented by Sharon Sponaugle.  A quartet made up of Jim Smith, Sam Moscar, Bill Morrison and Bill Mills sang O Baby Mine. The last thing before the presentation of awards by Principal Fountie Williams and the recessional was the Valedictory address given by Rosalyn Burnett (me).  I am sure my home room teacher, Lorana Riley, helped me with it, but I remember that most of it was required to be composed by me.  I want to share a few paragraphs with you.
 
"The Present Pinnacle".  Graduation is one of the peaks of excitement and achievement in a person's life.  It is so far the highest pinnacle in our lives.
 
Here as students we have worked hard, played hard, we have done our best.  Our responsibilities have been tailored to fit our strengths.  It is strange that we are a bit reluctant, a bit fearful of leaving these well loved halls and moving out into a wider sphere.  But we must.  ...............
 
To many people a mountain is not only an inspiration, it is a challenge.  The climber fixes his mind and eyes on a certain peak and climbs, perhaps wearily and slowly but he climbs.  When at last he reaches the top he is elated, he is filled with that joyous feeling of accomplishment.  He pauses to look about him at the way he has come,  then looks further and sees a peak higher than the one he has climbed, then another and another, all more difficult.  If he continues toward his goal, he must climb those rugged mountains.  Surely he would not turn back now after coming this far.  ..............
 
So it is with us dear friends, graduation from Broadway Junior High School is our present pinnacle of achievement.  It has been a hard climb, but with your help it has been a steady and pleasant one.  We look forward to greater achievements as we gradually put on the strength and we hope the wisdom of maturity.  Thank You."
 
These remarks were presented Tuesday, May 18, 1954 in the auditorium of Broadway Junior High School 65 years ago by a 14 year old student ready to pursue her high school education at Roosevelt Wilson High School.
 
When comparing these notes to what a student might present today, it does not seem that it would be much different.  I look back with many memories of my days at Broadway and know that I was shaped into the individual that I am today by the staff there and my friends. I have such fond memories of the concerts, the marching and tumbling teams and all the activities we participated in.
 
Take care.  Keep in touch,  and until next week "Now You Have Heard It Through The Grapevine."

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