Booker T. Washington Held Open Class Reunion

By Keri Brye

Booker T. Washington Senior High School held an open class reunion at New World Landing on Saturday, July 13.

The event was a fun-filled night with lots of dancing, reuniting and laughter.

“It felt like one of the high school dances we all loved,” said Andrea Smith, class of 1990.

So many memories were shared and friendships renewed. Connections were still strong at B.T. Washington High School.  “My favorite high school memories are the basketball games when I danced on the pom-pom squad,” said Smith laughing as she remembered the events.  “It’s good to see classmates of my class and also those graduating before and after I did,” she said.

Several teachers were honored during the event for their service at the school. Host Sonya Benton-Rutledge was honored to present the first award of recognition to her mother and former English teacher, Phernell Williams. A member of the class of 1958, Williams said that she was truly honored to accept the award.

Other recipients included Nettie Eaton, the first African American female principal in Escambia County and former speech teacher, Ms. Linda Jordan, retired biology teacher, Gloria McCloud, English teacher. Latasha McGruder, literacy coach,  received recognition for her hard work in ensuring that teachers incorporate literacy in their lesson plans.

According to Benton-Rutledge, McGruder also played a vital role in coordinating the B.T. Washington Centennial Celebration.

“You only get to celebrate 100 years once,” McGruder said laughing. “I wanted this event to be as big as possible,” she said.

With such a diverse crowd and members from classes years ago and current graduating class, the deejay graced the crowd with songs from the decades as early as the 70’s (Commodores’, Brick House and Frankie Beverly and Maze’s “Before I Let go), to present day (Robin Thicke, “Blurred Lines).

All of the attendants enjoyed their night as they danced, laughed and shared memories.

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