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Hello Hornets:


Here are some items that might be of interest:


1.  SURRATTSVILLE PROGRAM FEATURED ON WJLA.  On December 28, Surrattsville's very successful College Summit program was featured on in the following article by Leon Harris:  "Surrattsville High Teaches Kids What It Takes To Go To College.  Many high school students think going to college is just a pipe dream, but one Maryland high school is working to change that.  At Surattsville High School in Clinton, a one-period class is offered every other day to teach students what it takes to get into college.


The year-long program prepares high school seniors for life after high school.  "The tools they gain in class on how to make action plans and how to implement them is something they can transfer to college or whatever they do at work and whatever they do with the rest of their lives," said Kirsten Simpkins, teacher.


The class, called "College Summit," helps students write personal statements, build resumes, walk them through the application process and how to pay for school.  Student and peer leader Patience Amankwa says being in the program has been a life-changing experience.  "I walk with a sense of pride," Amankwa said.


Principal Kristi Holden says Patience isn't alone.  "They realize, 'Oh I am doing great. I can do this. I've overcome these obstacles. Now I can go to college,'" Holden said.  About 80 percent of students who enroll in the class go on to college, Holden said.  The program also helps young men and women with work readiness skills and even those considering a career in the military."


Congratulations to the College Summit program on this very nice press!


2.  SURRATTSVILLE COMMUNITY LOSES BELOVED EDUCATOR.  Ron Cunningham, who taught Social Studies at Surrattsville in the 1960s and 1970s and who went on to have an extraordinarily successful career with the Prince George's County and Charles County schools, died on December 31, 2011.  Ron was a true inspiration to hundreds of Surrattsville students – and students at his other schools – and he will be truly missed.  Additional details about Ron's illustrious career, and the scholarship fund that has been established in his name, appear below.


3.  MORE CHOIR MEMORIES.  We received this email from Patti DeLauder Dean (78):   "Please thank Carol Tisdale Witsell (64) and Syd Savage Lemieux for the information about and words to the chorus' 'Prayer' for me.  Funny that Carol sang it in the 60s, Syd and I sang it in the 70s, and I am sure Charlie had them singing it in the 80s.  I hope they're singing it today.  It just says it all.  And it brings a tear to the eye because if you never got any part right, you got that part right because the chords were so pretty.   Everyone loved it.  Thanks. Patti"

4.  PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY CHRISTMAS IN APRIL FUNDRAISER.  Prince George's County's Christmas in April chapter – whose Executive Director is Achievement Award recipient Mary Kucharski (76) – is planning a fundraising dance on March 3, from 6 – 11 p.m. at the Clinton Moose Lodge.  A $15 admission includes a ham dinner and the classic rock sounds of "Rt. 5 South."  (Love that band name!)  Information is available at 301-868-0937,, and  Best of luck to this fine charity on this upcoming event.


5.  REQUEST FOR ACHIEVEMENT AWARD NOMINATIONS.  At this time each year, we ask our readers to consider nominating a worthy member of the Surrattsville community for one of the Foundation's Achievement Awards.  Bios and photos of the extraordinarily accomplished past recipients of these Awards may be viewed by clicking the Achievement Awards button on the Foundation's web site at (and they may be viewed collectively at  Please send any nominations to


6.  REQUEST FOR FOUNDATION BOARD MEMBERS.  The Foundation is seeking individuals willing to serve on the Foundation's Board.  If you might be willing to lend your talents to this very worthy cause, please send an email to


7.  CLASS OF 97 PLANS REUNION.  The Class of 97 is busy planning its 15 year reunion for mid-summer 2012.    The Class has a web page at  Please contact Monica Crown at if you would like information on the event or if you have any contact info for members of the Class of 97 or their families.


8.  CLASS OF 71 PLANS REUNION.  The Class of 71 is holding a reunion event near Annapolis on Saturday June 23, 2012.  For information, please visit the "Surrattsville 1971" Group on Facebook, or contact Darlene Monaco (71) at, cell: 443-831-1643 or home: 410-544-1471.


9.  CLASS OF 62 PLANS 50 YEAR REUNION.  The Class of 62 is planning its 50 Year Reunion.  Here are the details from the Reunion Committee: "Crystal City Marriott, Crystal City, VA, June 22, 23 and 24, 2012, Dinner on Saturday Night June 23.  Party like you're 18 again!  Party like it's 1962!  Reunion Committee: Terry Buckley Osman ( 410-320-2668 or 410-586-3911, Kathy Dorsey Larrabee ( 410-353-3432 or 410-897-0332, Jerry Spence ( 240-216-0189 or 240-419-2661, Len Owens ( 443-206-2567.  Please join us on Facebook if you are a member.


10.  CORRECTION CONCERNING BOOK TITLE.  Several of our eagle-eyed readers noted that, in the last edition of the e-Notice, your editor included a typo in the title of one of the books by Dave Crawley (65).  The book's correct title is "Dog Poems," not "Doug Poems."  Sorry, Dave!


11.  NEW PHOTOS ON WEB SITE.  Thanks to our readers, there are a number of new historical, and recent, photos on the "Photos" page on the web site at that might be of interest to many of our readers.  If you have any photos that you think might be of interest to our readers and web site visitors please send them to me at


12.  UPDATED HISTORICAL COUNTY PHOTOS.  We received this nice internet tip from Mike Johnson (77), and this related email from Susan Loweth Melton (63):  "I received this link from Bill Richards (72) to a site with historical photos throughout Prince George's County and beyond.  It might be the same web site you mentioned in a prior e-Notice, but it appears to have some new photos.  Susan"


13.  … AND SPEAKING OF HISTORY.  We have been provided with some additional historical information about Surrattsville and Clinton, and we'll feature it in this year's e-Alerts.  The first is from the Surratt Society Newsletter from June 1979, and was contributed by the Surratt House and Museum Executive Director, Laurie Verge:  "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 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 school also bear the name Surrattsville as do many businesses in the area.  History is hard to change."


14.  SEARCH THE WEB AND SUPPORT THE FOUNDATION.  Some of our readers use the web search function to do their web searching, and by doing so generate automatic contributions by to the Foundation.  To use as your search engine and to designate the Foundation as the beneficiary of donations by, simply by going to and, at the "Choose Your Cause" button enter "Surrattsville Foundation" (and that will take you to a page that says "Surrattsville High School Foundation (Baltimore – MD)" (the mailing address for the Foundation.


Thanks for considering this painless, and free, way to support the Foundation every time you search the web!


15.  REQUEST FOR PRINCIPALS' PHOTOS FOR LEGACY WALL.  As noted in the last e-Notice, the Foundation is seeking photos of all of Surrattsville's Principals (since 1907!) to include on the new, Foundation-sponsored "Legacy Hall" at the School.  If you have any paper copies of photos of Principals that you would be willing to snail mail to us for scanning and a prompt return to you, please mail them to Henry Smith, 1 W. Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 950, Towson, MD 21204.  If you have the ability to scan a digital copy of a Principal's photo – perhaps from your yearbook – please send me an email at so I can tell you if we already have that particular photo.  If we don't, and you could kindly scan the photo and email it to us that would be great.  (Especially if the scan is "high resolution," which is better for enlarging to 8 x 10 size for framing.)


Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide with this latest Foundation project.


16.  COLLECTED SCHOLARSHIP AND ACHIEVEMENT AWARD PHOTOS NOW ON WEB SITE.  As previously reported, we're delighted to note that the collected photos of all of the Foundation's Scholarship recipients and Achievement Award recipients (since 2000) are now accessible on one page on the web site by clicking the "Photos" button on the home page (at   Larger photos, and full bios, of those outstanding members of the Surrattsville community may be found by clicking the Scholarship and Achievement Award buttons on the web site.


17.  FOUNDATION FACEBOOK PRESENCE CONTINUES TO GROW.  The Foundation's Facebook Group – called "Surrattsville Alumni" – continues to grow, and is now approaching 1300 members.  This is a great, and free, way for folks to stay in touch.  Similarly, the Class-specific Facebook Groups – that have names like "Surrattsville 1971" and the like -- continue to grow.  Please consider joining the Surrattsville Alumni Group, and your own Class-specific Group, to get the latest news on alumni events.


18.  BOOMERANGS AVAILABLE.  The Foundation has a limited supply of yearbooks from 1991, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006.  If you'd like one of these yearbooks (which are available for $15 including shipping and handling), please send an email to


19.  ALL CLASSES/FACULTY/STAFF DIRECTORIES AVAILABLE.  Thanks to the herculean work of Pat Becker Oles (71), the Foundation's 2000 Alumni/Faculty/Staff Directory has been updated for 2010, and now includes fascinating "what I'm up to" paragraphs from those who submitted directory information.  If you would like a copy of the Directory, send a $20 check payable to the Foundation to:  Henry Smith, One W. Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 950, Towson, MD 21204.


20.  "SURRATTSVILLE ALUMNI" WINDOW STICKERS AVAILABLE.  Pat Becker Oles (71) also kindly handles the Foundation's "Surrattsville Alumni" window stickers project.  Pat notes that the stickers are not the "static cling type," that stick to the inside of a window.  Instead, they are the "stick to the outside type," that can stick on a window or bumper, and use "repositional adhesive" (meaning no sticky residue).  Information about purchasing the stickers can be found on the web site at



Here's hoping the first month of your new year was a wonderful one!  Henry Smith (71)





In Memoriam


RON CUNNINGHAM (former faculty) died on December 31, 2011.  Ronald George Cunningham of La Plata, Maryland, died on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.  He was 69 years old.  Cunningham, who was a former teacher, principal and regional administrator, served as Charles County Public Schools associate and deputy superintendent for the past 14 years.


Born on March 27, 1942 in White Township, Pennsylvania, he was the son of the late Dorothy Viola and the late Clarence Blair Cunningham.  Mr. Cunningham earned his bachelor's degree from Indiana State College in Pennsylvania and his master's degree from Georgetown University. Additionally, he earned his administrative certification in education from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  He began his career in education in 1964 as a social studies teacher at Crossland High School in Prince George's County. He also taught at Surrattsville High School before moving into administrative positions. From 1979 to 1994, he served in various administrative positions in Prince George's County Public Schools, including 10 years as a high school principal. He served as principal at Bladensburg High School from 1984-1988 and at High Point High School in Beltsville from 1988-1994.


Mr. Cunningham started his career with Charles County Public Schools in 1994 as a regional administrator. In 1997, he was appointed associate superintendent of schools and in 2005 was named as deputy superintendent.  Recently, Mr. Cunningham was honored as the 2011 Maryland School Counselor Association (MSCA) Advocate of the Year for his support for counselors and their work.  "Mr. Cunningham was my colleague and personal friend. He was the person who handled the day-to-day operations of the school system and supervised the principals. Most of all, he was student-centered. He loved children and made sure that the best interest of children was at the core of each decision. Mr. Cunningham was well respected, and we are saddened by his death. This is a tremendous loss for the students and staff of Charles County Public Schools and for Charles County,' Superintendent James E. Richmond said.


Throughout his life, Mr. Cunningham was a member of the Kiwanis, the Elks, the Rotary Club and the United Way.


He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Mary Anne Cunningham; his son Douglas B. Cunningham; sister Joann C. Hughes of Verona, PA; grandchildren Christopher R. Cunningham and Caitlin B. Cunningham; brothers-in-law Stephen A. Farrell of Chicago, IL, Thomas M. Farrell and his wife Susan of Coons Rapid, MN, James E. and his wife Martha of Martinsville, VA.  A celebration of life took place on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at North Point High School in Waldorf.


Memorial contributions may be made to Charles County Scholarship Foundation, Ronald G. Cunningham Scholarship, P. O. Box 2770 La Plata, Maryland 20646.


JAMES "JAY" WALLACE SPRADLING (Surrattsville parent) passed away on Saturday, January 14th in San Antonio, Texas, while surrounded by family.  Jay was born the oldest of two sons to Ethel and Luther Spradling in Bixby, Oklahoma, on October 30, 1929.  He graduated from Bixby High School in 1947, and attended college at Oklahoma A&M University where he obtained a degree in Dairy Science.  Shortly after graduation, he entered the United States Air Force for a tour of duty, then settled in Tulsa where he worked until 1961.  In 1961 Jay returned to the US Air Force and served continuously until 1980, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1980.  While on active duty, he was assigned to locations in several states, Japan, Germany, and Vietnam, earning a Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam.  After retirement from the Air Force, Jay settled in San Antonio, Texas.  He retained his Bixby roots throughout his life, joining the Bixby Historical Society and returning often to visit friends and relatives and to attend high school reunions.  Jay was the beloved husband of the late Beverly Mae (Karnes) Spradling of Beaver, Oklahoma, the late Dorothea Augusta (“Gus”) (Scheuch) Spradling of Universal City, Texas, and Doris (Uecker) Spradling, of San Antonio, Texas.  The dear father of James Wallace Spradling II (Surrattsville 1971) (Natalie), Kevin Karnes Spradling (Rebecca), and Shelly Jane Foreman (Keith), Jay was also the cherished “Papa” to 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.  A great friend to many, Jay brought joy and humor to the world, and he will be sorely missed.  Services were held at the Colonial Funeral Home in Universal City, Texas, at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25th, followed by interment at Ft Sam Houston National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Jay asked that any donations be made to the Fisher House for military families, at 3623 George C. Beach Rd, Ft Sam Houston, TX 78234. Please sign the guestbook at HYPERLINK ""





Patricia Becker Oles (71)

Steve Profilet (71)

Nancy Miller (67)

Bob Marr (71)

Debbie Cox Marr (72)

Elizabeth Lee Gleisberg May (78), In memory of loving parents Ray and Dorothy Gleisberg

Sandra Smith Simmons (70)

Donna Rae Sturtevant Smith (70), In memory of Lt. Col. Benjamin Norcia (USAF, Ret), long-time Surrattsville substitute teacher, and Mary A. Norcia

Henry Smith (71), In memory of Lt. Col. Benjamin Norcia (USAF, Ret), long-time Surrattsville substitute teacher, and Mary A. Norcia




Patricia Becker Oles (71)

Steve Profilet (71)

Bob Marr (71)

Debbie Cox Marr (72)

Thomas V. Mike Miller (60)

Vicky Simontacchi Young (57)

Valerie Parker Allard (73)

Bob Freitas (70)

Linda Dorsey Blum (66)

Coach Lew Jenkins

Helen Bovbjerg Niedung (54)

Melissa Gilcrest (69)

Henry Smith (71)

Donna Rae Sturtevant Smith (70)

Susan Loweth Melton (63)

Judy Gordon Mentlik (65), In memory of Gloria Grady (65), Linda Soper (65) and my 65 "brother," Richard Gordon (65)

Patti Williams Makielski (74), In memory of Kathy Williams Sheppard (76)

Judy Crawley Gibson (71), In memory of Debbie Bastek (71), "a tough cookie who is gone too soon"

Duke Coleman (53)

Carmen Gines Frotton (65), In memory of Richard Gordon (65)

Paul Rickett (69)

Gloria Blandford Rickett (71)

Tom and Sally Travis (72)

Lawrence Romjue (57), In memory of Lois Marie Osgood (57), "26 miles – Santa Catalina"

Richard Grace (81), In memory of Rhonda Nairn (81)

Mike Blair (71)

Suzan Martz Holmquist (62)

Patrick McMenamin (71)

Vicky Simontacchi Young (57)

Lee Hessberg (68)

Lois Barrett Hessberg (70)

Carol Fite Mothershead (65)

Larry Mothershead (65)

Mike Boyle (69)

Jim Casswell

Bonnie Harris

Scott Sonntag (71)

John Shultz (80)

Kelly Shultz (83)

Paul Monaghan (59)

Vicki Forsht Williams (65, and former faculty), In memory of Eugene Colgan and Marie Grouby 

Marie O'Clair, In memory of Marie Grouby

Jean White Monroe (71)

Vera Twigg

Anne Noyes (former faculty)

Pamela Buckingham (68)

Leslie St. Clair (70)

Judy Miller (70)

Donna Mitroff (57), In memory of  Nancy Drevenak Dickinson (59)

David Kraus (65)

Debra Villari

Lee Pascasio

Nancy Lapin LoBianco (65), In memory of Sarah (Sally Lang) Knight (66)

Richard Duke (47), In memory of James Paul Duke, Jr. (40)

Dan Bayne (71)

Ron Cunningham, former faculty

David Miller (73)

Mike Miller (70)

Denise Hope (72), In memory of Robin Danielson (72)

Shawn Craw Blau (71)

Sandra Smith Simmons (70)

Sandra Hardesty Taylor (71)

Betty O'Clair (73), In memory of Francis R. O'Clair

Glenda Gillan Schornick (70)

Mara Seaforest (65)

David Crawley (65), To the Class of 65

Janet Goddard Sullivan (54), In memory of Glenn Evans (54)

David Coffield (65)

Brenda Karnes (former faculty), In memory of Dixie Vineiguerra, Vicki MacCoy, and Goldie Smith-Watson

Ellen Talbert-Miller (61, former faculty and administrator), In memory of Goldie Smith-Watson