Alumni Courtyard unveiled at BAHS
Read this Herald Standard article at this link: Herald Standard
Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 2:00 am
Article posted here with corrections.
The Brownsville Area Schools Alumni Association (BAS) cut the ribbon on a new alumni courtyard at Brownsville Area High School in a public dedication on Tuesday. The courtyard, which is paved with bricks purchased and designed by Brownsville alums and their loved ones, occupies the space between the middle and high schools on the Brownsville campus. Brownsville educator Ann Trynock originally suggested the courtyard project as a way to boost interest in BAS membership and, in turn, to increase its impact in the Brownsville School District and community. Anyone who purchases a brick is given an automatic lifetime membership to the BAS Chaplain Jarrett Miller, a 1987 graduate of BAHS, delivered an opening prayer for the dedication that included a moment of silence for Brownsville graduates who have passed on, and a prayer for blessings for the BAS and its endeavors.
Dr. Philip Savini, district superintendent, cut the ribbon and also delivered remarks highlighting the changes over the years in the Brownsville Area School District and the Brownsville community. “One thing that has not changed is our community — we’re here as a community. We survive through the ups and downs, whether they be economic, whether they be personal, whether they be a community issue. We survive, and we move on and we improve,” said Savini. Savini added, “Never before has an alumni group tied in this close with the educational system…I’m very proud to see all the people here today.”
BAS was founded to “recognize alumni who have gone on to distinguish themselves in their career, and/or in helping others in a positive fashion,” according to association President Dennis Matteucci. As current Brownsville students continue to contribute to the community in a big way, with endeavors like the Students in Action project to revitalize a downtown Brownsville park — an effort that netted them a national Jefferson Award — BAS aims to also recognize the outstanding contributions of young people who have yet to graduate.
Over the coming years, BAS plans to use more of its funds to bridge the gap between former and current students through scholarships and other support. Additionally, this year, the BAS welcomed two current BAHS students, a junior and a senior, to its board. Student board members will be rotated every year from now on. Said Matteucci in his dedication remarks, “We’ve changed our mission just a bit. In addition to the Distinguished Alum Awards, we’ve expanded to get closer to the students and the faculty here… We now have our sights set on some fundraising events to raise funds to provide scholarships to needy and worthy students from the high school. That’s our new vision.”
Matteucci praised the efforts of BAS Vice-President Lenora Byrd and Nancy Willson-Komacek in getting the alumni courtyard project off the ground. “These things just don’t happen by themselves. Once the suggestion was adopted, there’s a lot of work that goes in…and these two are a whirlwind. The word ‘obstacles’ are not in their lexicon,” said Matteucci. He also thanked board member Linda Karol for her organization of the dedication event and the school board for working with them in the installation of the courtyard. Resident Mark Mammarella designed and installed the courtyard and will maintain it as well.
“It’s a nice thing for the school and the association to be doing for one another, and it’s been fun with everyone working together to get us to this point,” said Mammarella. As it is an ongoing project, orders for courtyard bricks are still being collected. The bricks are fully customizable, with varying options for size, text engravings and clip art images to accompany the message. According to Matteucci, they process about 30 or 40 brick orders a week. (Misquote: we process about 30 brick orders every 2 months).
“This is not a finite project, it’s a forever project,” said Matteucci.
BUY A BR ICK & HAVE IT ADDED TO OUR NEW COURTYARD.
Check out the below listed links for more info on our "Ribbon Cutting Ceremony" to include videos of our event.