Shawmut school committee keeps doing it right

Published 5:30 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2018

I’m continually amazed by the good work that’s done year after year by the Shawmut School Reunion Committee. They’ve been organizing school reunions for 20 years now. Shawmut’s a great community to grow up in and to live, but it’s not that big. It’s most impressive they can have at least 200 people at the reunion every year. There’s no question people who grew up in Shawmut and went to school there have a life-long love for their school. Alumni from any other school can learn from their example.

“We’ve had classmates return from Hawaii, California, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Florida and other states,” said committee member P.I. Johnson.

This committee keeps turning out one huge success after another. It’s obvious that anyone who ever attended Shawmut School experienced something that gets them coming back year after year to reunions. It’s great to talk to the older people there about their principal, Bob Harding, and their coach, Carl Jones. And everyone loves Roger McDonald. the former student and long-time recreation director. The ball field on the Circle is named for him.

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Everyone loves P.I. and June Johnson, too. They are real spark plugs behind this reunion. When you compliment Mr. P.I. for the work he does, he directs credit to Cindy Daniel, Janet Howell and Andy Harper.

“They are our ringleaders,” he said. “They are the young bloods and the leaders of the pack. They do the legwork, the organizing, you name it.”

Mr. P.I. also has kind words for Greg Duffey, Laura Reynolds, Patty Gleaton and Cathy Wright.

“They keep us old timers informed,” he said.

Others who make vital contributions to the committee are Charles and Glenn Hall, Janice Terry, Mary Fetner, David and Sue Herrington, Roy and Carol McClendon, Danny Blackburn, Sara Jones, Pedro Reese, George Reese, Barbara Colley, Earl Coulter, W.L. and Peggy Gillenwaters, Jennie Gunnells, William Smith, Tommy Watkins, Phyllis Bohannon, Robert Moore, Frank Sledge and Tommy and Sheena Siggers.

“We want to remember committee members who worked so hard for us and who have now gone on,” Mr. P.I. tells us. ‘They include Randall Rogers, Joan Moore, Jane Carmack, Nadine Watkins, Jeanette Mason, Ray Jones, Charles Bohannon, Roy Terry, Luke Gunnells, Larry Reese, Geraldine Meecham, Roy Terry and others.”

Frank Sledge has contributed a memorial plaque that contains the names of members of the Shawmut School Committee who contributed to this success but who have passed away. “The names of some of my best friends are on that plaque,” Mr. P.I. said.

P.I. and June are retired school teachers from Florida. They have a home there and one on West Point Lake. P.I. is in his late eighties and reminds me of the Energizer Bunny. He just keeps going and going, and his friends are grateful for that.

We tip our VT-N hat to the Shawmut School Reunion Committee for doing something the right way. Just like Mr. P.I., those reunions keep going and going. And it’s a good thing.