Class of ’70 honors classmates

Published 10:04 pm Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cathy Catrett and Rhonda Taylor presented a $1,200 check to Charles Henderson High School on behalf of the Class of 1970 in memory of 11 deceased classmates. From left, David Helms, Troy City Schools; Taylor, Dr. Kathy Murphy, CHHS principal; and Catrett.

The Charles Henderson High School Class of 1970 presented a check in the amount of $1,294.54 to their alma mater Thursday in memory of 11 deceased classmates.

The class held its 40th high school reunion on June 26th and voted to donate all monies above expenses to the school system.

“We wanted to remember our classmates who are no longer with us and also to show appreciation to Charles Henderson High School for the education that we received and the opportunities our education has given us,” said Cathy Catrett.

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One hundred and forty-three seniors graduated CHHS in 1970 and Catrett said their shared memories keep them close.

“This donation is made in memory of Jerry Bryant, Lamar Mann, Jason Middleton, Keith McLaney, Richard Pittman, Brenda Smith, Paul Key, Gertha Dubose and Terry Hollis,” Catrett said.

Dr. Kathy Murphy, CHHS principal, and David Helms, central office representative, accepted the donation with deep appreciation.

“This donation will be of benefit to the kids at CHHS,” Helms said.

“It’s always appreciated when former students give back to the school. I know that Dr. Murphy will put the money to good use.”

Murphy said she already has plans to purchase a reading program that will determine the reading level of the students.

“We will purchase the STudent Achievement in Reading (STAR) program or a similar intervention support program that will determine the reading level of students who are struggling readers in an effort to improve their high school graduate exam scores.”

Murphy said the STAR program will also be beneficial in increasing a student’s Carnegie Units, which measure the amount of time a student has studied a subject.

Murphy said that too often reading is not valued in homes and children enter school without a foundation in reading. “Some homes don’t even have reading materials available,” she said. “Reading is too often not valued in the home. If children don’t see their parents read, they are less likely to enjoy reading and to see its value. But we have to do our part, too. We have to make reading a priority because reading is required in science, history, math, literature — every subject so it is most important.”

Murphy said in today’s world there are many distractions and young people just aren’t reading.

“We have to show them the value of reading and get them reading again,” she said.