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September 7, 2010

Scribner Middle School celebrates 50 years

FLOYD COUNTY — Sen. John F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for president.

The Beatles formed.

Muhammad Ali won his first professional boxing match.

All this happened in 1960 — the same year Nathaniel Scribner Junior High School — now Scribner Middle School —  opened its doors.

Tuesday evening, the school celebrated its 50th anniversary with speeches from former students — including State Sen. Connie Sipes, Indiana’s first lady Cheri Daniels and Judge Basil Lorch — as well as an open house with a reception. About 1,000 people filled the gym for the event.

“It’s just a really fun thing to do to get in touch with some of the former employees, staff and students we had here,” said David Adams, who started teaching at the school in 1969 before moving up to assistant principal and finally principal, where he retired in 2001. “We wanted to do something special and not let it just go by. A lot of us spent our whole careers here. It’s been a family thing for us.”

Adams also went to the school.

“He was a freshman in my algebra class,” said William Beyl as he stood next to Adams.

Beyl went on to become principal of the school for 24 years, from 1967 to 1991.

“We had a very close, hard working staff. This was our life. We lived all those years together,” Beyl said. “I’m very happy to get all these people back together.”

Kimberly Schroder, 49, remembers when Beyl was in charge.

“It’s something else. It’s hard to believe how much time has passed,” she said. “[Beyl] doesn’t look any different. I think these teachers have all stayed looking the same! I don’t know how they do it!”

Now, her youngest, an eighth-grader, goes to the school.

“It makes me feel real old!” she said with a laugh.

She wasn’t the only one reminiscing. Sipes and Daniels both talked about their time at Scribner.

“I had the usual fears, dreams and hopes,” Sipes said. “I learned lots and lots of lessons. Scribner served me well.”

She joked about how it helped steer her away from other careers, such as sewing, cooking and math, which she wasn’t good at.

Daniels said it was an honor to come back.

“I just hope all of you that are here today will be back 50 years from now to celebrate the 100th birthday,” she said.

Alexis Eve, 12, and Kassi Santos, 11, plan to do just that.

“It’ll be kind of a big thing. Hopefully kids like us will ask us questions on what it used to be like,” Santos said.

“I think it’d be pretty awesome to have a 100th [celebration]. We’ll have a big family and friend reunion!” Eve said. “We’ll get to see what they’re like, who they married and all that kind of stuff.”

The two said they didn’t mind opening up the school’s doors to so many others, but they did have one complaint.

“It’s pretty cool, because you get to meet new people, but yeah, it’s crowded,” Eve said.

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The clock tower on top of the Second Baptist Church is pictured in downtown New Albany on Monday afternoon.

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