Foundation Achievement Awards
Class Contact & Info
Make a Contribution
Upcoming Events
eNotice Archives
Foundation Message Center
Photo Center
Class Reunions
 Foundation Scholarships
 Surrattsville History
 Surrattsville H.S.

 Foundation  •  Join the E-mail List  •  Memory Fund  •  Search  •  Home



Hello Hornets:

Here are some items that might be of interest:

1.  FOUNDATION STARTS SECOND COMPUTER EQUIPMENT DRIVE.  As many of our readers will recall, when the Foundation was first established, our first big project was to arrange for the donation to the School of over $250,000 worth of computer equipment.  Ten years have passed, and that equipment is now obsolete or at the end of its useful life.  So, we are commencing a second drive to acquire computers (and related peripherals) for the School.  If you have contacts at any employer or other organization that donates "gently used" (or new) computers to non-profits, please contact me at

2.  SEEKING LOST HORNET.  Steve Sisk (69) is trying to locate James (Jim) Turner, aka William (Bill) Turner (69).  Please send Steve and email at if you have any information that might be helpful.

3.  MORE SURRATTS HISTORY.  Here's the latest in our continuing series of items about Surrattsville's very interesting history.  This article appeared in the Surratt Society "Surratt Newsletter" of June 1979, and was written by Laurie Verge, the curator of the Surratt House:

"Why Clinton?   Many inquiries have been made to our docents as to why and when the post office changed the name from Surrattsville to Clinton.  An early practice was to name the post office after the postmaster.  Accordingly, Surrattsville was born in 1854 when John H. Surratt became the postmaster.  After his death in August of 1862, his youngest son, John H., Jr., became the postmaster on Monday September 1, 1862.  He held the position until November 17, 1863 when he was removed by the federal department -- probably because his reputation as an enemy courier began to catch up with him.

Surratt was followed by Andrew V. Robey who maintained the mails at the tavern until May 3, 1865 when the location was moved down Piscataway Road and re-named Robeystown.  It remained such until October 18, 1878 when the name was changed to Clinton.  The origin of that name is unknown; but one "educated guess" has been that a relative of DeWitt Clinton, governor of New York, was Postmaster General at that time and decided to "honor" DeWitt.

In 1906, the second high school in the county was built and named Surrattsville, a name which still stands.  It is interesting to speculate on why the Board of Education preferred the original name.  An elementary school and junior high also bear the name Surrattsville as do many businesses in the area.  History is hard to change."

4.  SURRATT SOCIETY INFO.  We received this interesting bit of information in response to our recent items about the upcoming Robert Redford film "The Conspirator:" "Henry:  Regarding the Surratt House and how they need funds, is the website for the Surratt Society, which runs the Surratt House Museum.  Interested persons can be members, give donations, etc.  The site has plenty of information on the tours and seminars they offer. (I am a lifetime member.)  Pat Becker Oles (71).

5.  MORE MEMORIES OF SOUTHERN MARYLAND.  Here's another interesting article from the series in the St. Mary's County Times written by Foundation Historian and Archivist, Shelby Lee Oppermann (79):

“The Winter Hater,” by Shelby Oppermann.     Thank you to everyone who has responded to the articles so far, and for one writer who tells me that one of the names for the funny shaped building on the corner of Golden Beach Rd. and Rt. 5 was “The Golden Eagle”. Also, she tells me that Golden Beach is really in Mechanicsville, not Charlotte Hall. Sorry about that.  I was confused because the Charlotte Hall post office is  nearer to Golden Beach than Mechanicsville’s post office.  I’m sure there must be some good reason for this. Anyway….
I love Fall. The smell of wood smoke, leaves making their last desperate cling to the branches, squirrels in their restless scurry for nuts. But then, Fall’s brilliance begins to fade in preparation for the colder, paler season of Winter. A lusterless, interminably long season of no growth and grayness. “Please Spring come early this year.” That is the way I used to view Winter for my first 17 years of life.

Until one trip I took to Pennsylvania while in school. I was in the Surrattsville High School Hiking Club and we were on our way there for a ski trip. About ten of us were loaded into one of those huge activity vans, and at first we were  laughing, singing, and looking out windows.

Our club sponsor Ms. Harris, was also an English Teacher, who had a way with words and would engage us in various discussions.  After driving through an hour or two of rain/snow mix with the dirty snow piled up along the roadside, my mood and a few of the other kids’ moods started to dampen.  Ms. Harris  must have sensed this and asked what the problem was.   
I told her I thought it looked so depressing outside. Winter was just gray and dark with nothing good to look at. (Teenage angst most likely). A few of the others nodded agreement. Ms. Harris  had us really look at the trees as we drove by them. The varying shades of gray: the contrast of black silhouetted limbs against the spots of bright blue sky between the clouds. Birch trees with neon white and black like a Dalmatian. Ancient gnarled trees with bare branches like grasping arms. 

She described the photos of Ansel Adams and how shades of black, and gray, and white can both sharpen and soften objects.  When we would pick out any patches of green, Ms. Harris would bring to mind images of Van Gogh paintings, by having us notice the many different tones within a pine or holly tree, how some are vivid where others muted.  What a wonderful gift she gave us that day.  Then we got to the camping site with two feet of snow, 10 degrees below zero and froze all night.

I took this gift with me and tried to pass it on to my children, and any kids that happened to be on Winter field trips with them.   Hopefully, this was successful.  Where my success ended is yes, with my husband.  He is not a Winter person. He is descendant from bears.  If he had his way the inside of our bedroom would be a dirt tunnel with roots sticking out of the walls.  Dark, warm, and prepared to sustain him from November until the end of March.  Are there groups for people like this? I know all about SAD (seasonal affective disorder) that’s a given. He probably does need one of those special lights; what are they called “grow lights” or something. Oh, that’s for plants, he’s a bear. 

So, every Fall, I try to start earlier and earlier by showing him the beauty of the changing leaves, and the vibrant colors of the winter wheat in the farm fields and so on.  When we take weekend drives through the local countryside, I always make sure we try to pass one of the fields that have the bright green cover crops growing, and point and say “Look, honey, at all that green, Spring is right around the corner.”  It’s usually somewhere around Thanksgiving at this point, and all I get in return is “Grumble, grumble, something, something.”  I’ve tried the tree analogies, everything.

Progress has been made over the last eight years though; he does seem happier each Winter that goes by. When he awakes this morning, I will again try to coax the bear out of his lair to see the morning light filtering through those beautiful gold and red leaves and to smell the cleansed morning air. Tunnel air gets a little musty after awhile.  To each new day’s adventure, Shelby,"

[Ed Note: Margaret Harris generously donates her time to serve as a Foundation Board member.]

6.  BOOMERANGS AVAILABLE.   The Foundation has a limited supply of yearbooks from 1991, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006.  We've also just acquired a gently used 1975 yearbook.  If you'd like one of these yearbooks (which are available for $15 including shipping and handling), please send me an email to

7.  FOUNDATION'S OFFICIAL 2009 ANNUAL CAMPAIGN OFF TO GREAT START.  The Foundation's 2009 Annual Campaign is off to a great start.  Remember: no gift is too small (or large) to help the Foundation, and because the Foundation has no overhead 100% of every donation goes toward the work of the Foundation.  A donor form is reprinted below, and is available for download on the Foundation's web site.  (This year's very generous early donors are listed below.)

And as previously reported, the Foundation now has a "button" on the home page of the Foundation's web site ( that makes it easier for our very generous donors to contribute to the Foundation using a credit card or paypal.  (Of course, the Foundation is still happy to accept donations in the form of mailed paper checks!)  A special request to our on-line donors: please include your graduation year/faculty years/etc. in your on-line donation form.

8.  2010 ALL CLASSES/FACULTY/STAFF EVENTS.  Please don't forget to mark you calendars for the Foundation's third "All Classes/Faculty/Staff" events to be held over the long weekend of Friday June 25 - Sunday June 27, 2010. The schedule of events, which is similar to the schedule of the events for the great 2000 and 2005 events, is as follows:

-Friday June 25, 2010 - Golf Outing. 
-Friday June 25, 2010, 7 P.M. - 11 P.M. - Surrattstock III.
-Saturday June 26, 2010, 10 A.M - 4 P.M. - All Classes/Faculty/Staff Picnic and School Open House.
-Saturday June 26, Evening - Saturday evening will be set aside for Class-specific events. 
-Sunday June 27 - Sunday will be set aside for Class-specific picnics and other informal gatherings.

9.  JUNE 26 AND 27, 2010 CLASS-SPECIFIC EVENTS.  Please note that many Classes are planning Class-specific events for the evening of Saturday June 26, 2010, and some for Sunday June 27, 2010.  Please check in with your Class's "Official Reunion Contact" to make sure he or she has your current contact information and to get an update on any plans your Class has for the big reunion weekend.  (ORC contact information, which recently has been updated, can be found on the "Classes" page on the web site at

10.  POSSIBLE 80/81 REUNION.  The Classes of 80 and 81 are planning a possible reunion for June 2010.  They need a contact person for the Class of 80.  Please contact Teresa Blandford Pepper at to provide contact info.

11.  SURRATTS COOKBOOK.  As previously reported, Leslie St. Clair (70) and Diane "Cookie" Boyd (71) are putting together a Cookbook of Hornets' Favorite Recipes.  They're hoping that a number of you will submit recipes, and they'll break them down by category and have them bound and offer them for sale at the 2010 All Classes/Faculty/Staff events.  All proceeds will go to the Foundation.  If you have a recipe you'd like to share, please send it to Leslie and Cookie at

12.  COMBINED 60-65 EVENT.  We received this update from Class of 62 ORCs Len Owens and Jerry Spence: "The Classes of  60-65 are working on a Combined Classes 60-65 Reunion with events on Saturday evening (dinner) June 26, 2010 and Sunday afternoon (picnic) June 27, 2010.  Locations still to be determined.  Please contact your Official Reunion Contact (contact info is on the "Classes" page of the web site at for more information.  Best Wishes, Len and Jerry"

13.  ALUMNI OFFSPRING HAS BRUSH WITH CHIEF EXECUTIVE.  We received this interesting report from proud Dad, Mike Rumley (71): "FYI, my son Matt  works at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.  When President Obama was there recently, he wanted to meet vets that worked there when he did his meet and greet.  Matt, who works there in security and who is an Air Force veteran, got to open the door and let the President in.  Obama was held up at the door by Secret Service and he asked Matt where he was from.  When he told him Arizona they talked for a few about University of Az college football.  Matt said the President shook his hand when he came in the building and shook his hand again when he moved on.  Matt was very impressed with the President's down-to-earth conversation.  Proud Dad, Mike"

14.  WEB SITE FOR THOSE 50'S ALUMS.  Our unofficial internet expert, Wayne Tatum (74), sent along this url that might provide some amusement to our readers who attended Surrattsville in the 1950s:  Wayne reports that the "50's Slang" button alone is worth the trip to the site, and adds: "Even better - the Burma Shave rhymes are also on the site,  but you have to skip the ads to see them. I never read the complete series before!"

I hope this e-Notice finds you well and having enjoying a great start to your holiday season!

All the best,  Henry Smith (71)

In Memoriam

ALAN REED (72) died suddenly on October 24, 2009 in Salisbury, Maryland.  A memorial to Alan was held in Salisbury on November 14.

NANCY MADDOX KING-KATZBERG (74) died on November 25 at Georgetown Hospital from cancer and complications from diabetes.  A viewing will be held Tuesday, December 1 from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. with services December 2 at noon, both at Lee Funeral Home on Route 4 in Owings, MD.  Nancy will be laid to rest at the Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton.  Nancy's sisters Mary Ellen Maddox Brown and Anne Maddox, her brother Tom Maddox, and her late brother Patrick Maddox also attended Surrattsville.  Nancy's obituary can be found at the and websites.


Steve Profilet (71)
Bob Marr (71)
Debbie Cox Marr (72)
Teri Pepper Dimsey (77), In veneration of my classmates turning 50 this year
T. Summers Gwynn III (64), In memory of BillGwynn (64)
Ann Weaver Pelle (71)
Donna Rae Sturtevant Smith (70)
Henry Smith (71)
Jeanine Carroll Maclary (73), In Memory of Her Brother, James R. Carroll, Jr.
Vicky Simontacchi Young (57)
Linda Dorsey Blum (66)
Arvid Andresen (65)
Judy Gordon Mentlik (65), In Memory of Greg White (65), David Shriver (65) and Laura     Chovan (former faculty)
Ellen Talbert-Miller (61, former Faculty and Administration), In memory of Lillian Holland
Dan Bayne (71)
Tom Travis (72)
Sally Travis (72)
Rick Tazelaar (73)
David Kraus (65)
Paul Monaghan (59)
Coach Lew Jenkins (former Faculty, 1967 - 1993)
Helen Bovbjerg Niedung (54)
Judy Miller (70)
J. Paul Rickett (69)
Gloria Blandford Rickett (71)
Janet Goddard Sullivan (54), In Memory of Mildred Wheatley (34)
Melissa Gilcrest (69)
Jeanine Carroll Maclary (73), In Memory of James R. Carroll, Jr.
Patricia Becker Oles (71)
Valerie Parker Allard (73), In Memory of Cathy Lally Freitas (73)
Beverly Statler Thrift (69)
Dennis Thrift (71)
Mike Gifford (84)
Joan Penn Revis (61)
Homer Revis (56)