March 14, 2011 – The NHS Class of 1953 honored 35 classmates during a dedication ceremony on March 7 with a seat in their names in the newly renovated High School auditorium through the NEF’s “Save-Your-Seat” program. The Class of 1953 has taken on a class challenge to have a seat named for all 60 class members who are involved in their annual NHS library fundraiser.
The 35 class members honored with a gold plaque on a seat in the high school auditorium are: Joanne Girard Baker, Carlene York Barnette, Carl Beal, Muriel Walters Cummings, Valerie Miller Faxon, Sally Blake Lavery, Nina Rogers Meader, Russell Peirce, Arthur Smith, Norma Coffin Taylor, Mary Ross Wood, Ben Plouff, Edward Pike, Richard Foley, Gerald Foley, Edward Roaf, Judith Sprague Neu, Beverly Jewett Grant, Frank Grundstrom, Herbert Edwards, Robert Arnold, Alicia Conley Shea, Arthur Chaisson, Dan Kneeland, Jean Manthorn Perkins, Emery Todd, Dave Wood, Audrey Jones Smart, Betty Brunet Carrington, Richard Gould, Ann Waiswilos, Kennington, Barbara Beal Wilmot, Patricia Sullivan Szymura, William Marr, Alston Briggs.
Carl Beal, 1953 Class President, praised the class for making the project a reality, and for their continued support for the annual library fundraiser. Beal announced that the class’s eighth annual fundraiser will begin on April 15, and hopefully will add many more classmates to the “seat project.” Recently, some classmates, friends and families of deceased class members have come forth and are asking to donate in their names to have them ‘seated’ with their 1953 classmates in the auditorium. Committee members believe that this heartening trend will continue and give all classmates the opportunity to be part of the “Save-Your-Seat” class challenge.
Those attending the dedication ceremony were 1953 class members: Carl Beal, Muriel Walters Cummings, Sally Blake Lavery, Nina Rogers Meader, Russell Peirce and spouse Marcia, Arthur Smith, Norma Coffin Taylor, Ben Plouff and spouse Rita. Others in attendance were: Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Marc Kerble; Assistant Superintendent, Deirdre Farrell; High School Principal, Mike Parent; High School Librarian, Christine Dahlsen Bolick; and Newburyport Education Foundation board members John Elwell, Mark Wright and Marcia Samuelson.
Since their 50th class reunion, the class of 1953 has donated more than $15,000 to the NEF. It is an outstanding accomplishment that Class President, Carl Beal, attributes to some phenomenal 1953 alumni who have dedicated themselves to making a difference at their Alma Mater. The Save A Seat program is part of the Naming Opportunities program sponsored by the Newburyport Education Foundation.