By Ellen Simmons
Two hundred thirty-eight graduates and friends attended the 126th Annual New London High School Alumni Celebration June 17 in the school cafetorium.
Mary Jo (Rowland) Paramore, Class of ’66, and president of the Alumni Association, served as the master of ceremonies for the evening and welcomed everyone to the banquet.
New London Troop 217 Boy Scout Honor Guard, led by Scout Master Terry Knudsen, Class of ’73, presented the flag, followed by
the Pledge of Allegiance led by Alumni Association treasurer Steve Fawcett, Class of ’03. Knudsen gave the invocation.
Paramore welcomed the Class of ’17 president Sean Sands, and Superintendent Brad Romano recognized the winners of the Association Scholarships. They are Savana Nossa, Delaney Porter, Eden Copley and Brock Rankine. The graduates thanked the Association and announced where they would attend college.
Past and present New London teachers in attendance were Leonard Machles; Maggie Erlenbach; Kay Erlenbach, Class of ’61; Mary Ann (Wilson) Cumberledge, Class of ’87; and Rob and Bonnie (Ferrell) Gregory, Class of ’67.
Doyle Neel, Class of ’37, was the most senior graduate present, followed by Delaurice (Bilton) Cooke, Class of ’41.
Several members of the honored classes spoke to the audience. Paul Jennings, Class of ’67, reminisced about the village when he was growing up and said, “Although everything keeps changing, the community is still strong. We love it and we’re glad we are from New London.”
Harold Smith, Class of ’52 recalled how the Korean War affected his generation, and Tom Neel, Class of ’77, said his classmates had all kinds of activities planned for the day but ended up “talking with one another, which is what Alumni is all about.” May Ann Cumberledge noted she has taught for New London for ten years. Richard Nestor, Class of ’57, and Mike Smith and Kelly Coey Sopchak, Class of ’97, said a few words about their classes.
The entertainment for the evening was provided by the Kroc Center Jazz Band from Ashland under the direction of Neil Ebert. Norwalk’s Catering By Design provided the food, and Girl Scouts from Troops 918 and 1117 assisted with serving. Vaughn Neel, Class of ’48, won the 50/50 and Laura (Murr) Wilson, Class of ’65, won the centerpiece.
Alumni Association officers for the coming year are president Terry Sutherland, Class of ’71; vice president Stacey (DeSanto) Gregory, Class of ’81; secretary, Wendy (Hall) Kidd, Class of ’75; and treasurer Steve and Mike Smith and Kelly Coey Sopchak, Class of ’97 Fawcett.