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Hello Hornets:

Here are some items that might be of interest:

1.  FOUNDATION AWARDS 2013 SCHOLARSHIPS.  We are proud to announce that, thanks to the generosity of our annual fund donors, the Foundation was able to award the following six scholarships for 2013:

The Foundation's Jennie Denison Bayne Memorial Scholarship was awarded to EMARII LOPES.  At Surrattsville, Emarii was JROTC Wing Commander, the first female to receive Aviation Wings in the JROTC unit, and participated in Drill Team, Academic Challenge Team, Debate Team, Competition Chorus, and Band.  Emarii served as President of the Student Leaders Association, Bocce Ball Team Manager, and Special Ed Volunteer, and was involved in extensive community service activities.  Emarii will attend Mary Baldwin College in the Fall.

A Foundation General Fund Scholarship was awarded to JOHNSONETTE BISHOP.  While at Surrattsville, Johnsonette participated in JROTC, Drill Team, and GEMS (“Girls Empowered Meeting with Success”) Choir.  In the Fall, Johnsonette plans to study nursing at Allegany College or the University of the District of Columbia.

A Foundation General Fund Scholarship was awarded to HAWA ANTHONY.  While at Surrattsville, Hawa participated in Softball, Marching Band Auxiliary, GEMS, Performance Choir, Indoor Track, Art Club, Tennis, and the National Honor Society.  Hawa was Class President and was recognized as Outstanding JROTC Cadet.  Hawa will attend the University of Maryland in the Fall.

A Foundation General Fund Scholarship was awarded to CHRISTOPHER RICHARDSON.  While at Surrattsville, Christopher was President of the National Honor Society, Vice President of his Class, a member of the tennis team, and manager of the girls basketball team.  Christopher plans to attend Towson University in the Fall.

A Foundation General Fund Scholarship was awarded to KAYLA BUTLER.  While at Surrattsville, Kayla was a member of the National Honor Society and an Honor Roll member each quarter since grade 9.  She participated in the Performance Choir and the Senior Class fund raising committee.  In the Fall, Kayla plans to attend the College of Southern Maryland.

The inaugural Cadet Colonel Tekau Rasayon Memorial Scholarship was awarded to MORGAN COMER, valedictorian of the Class of 2013.  (This scholarship is an award sponsored jointly by the Foundation and Surrattsville's award-winning AFJROTC unit.)  While at Surrattsville, Morgan rose to the rank of Cadet Colonel in the MD-942 AFJROTC unit, was a 4.0 student, and received a number of JROTC awards and distinctions.  In the Fall, Morgan plans to attend the University of Maryland at College Park.

[Ed note: Photos and bios of these outstanding your scholars, and all of the Foundation Scholarship recipients to date, can be found at the web site at, and photos of the Scholarship recipients proudly hang in the Foundation's Legacy Hall at the School.  A video program featuring the recipients also appears on the Foundation's new youtube channel – see below.]

2.  FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES 2013 ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENTS The Foundation also is proud to announce this year's group of truly extraordinary Achievement Award recipients.

LAURA SISK WRIGHT (88) is an Emmy Award-winning actress, perhaps best known for her role as Cassie Layne Winslow on Guiding Light (1997–2005), and since 2005 for her portrayal of Carly Corinthos on General Hospital.  The latter role garnered Laura her Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in 2011.  Laura's web site ( and the wikipedia entry for Laura both mention her high school productions and dramatic arts roots in Clinton.

LEONTE COLLINS (98) followed his MVP football career at Surrattsville and at Hampton University with a professional career in the American arena football league and in Germany, while finding time to serve as Assistant Football Coach and to establish a boys' mentoring program at Surrattsville.  Leonte also has spoken to Surrattsville classes about charting a path post-high school, and has served as a youth mentor at his church and for community organizations.  On the business side, Leonte became the owner of the Washington Eagles arena football franchise in 2012 – he also coaches the team -- while continuing his career as a fitness model and owner of a boutique personal training business.

KEVIN O'CONNELL (78) was recently promoted to Major General in the U.S. Army and has been assigned to deputy chief of staff, U.S. Army Forces Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.  Before this promotion and transfer, Kevin served as Commanding General of the Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command/Joint Munitions Command on Rock Island Arsenal.  (JMC operates a nationwide network of conventional ammunition manufacturing plants and storage depots, and provides on-site ammunition experts to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed.  JMC's customers are U.S. forces of all military services, other U.S. government agencies, and allied nations.)

Kevin's military education includes the Quartermaster Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Combined Army Services Staff School, the Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College.  Kevin's military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (4 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Achievement Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Army Superior Unit Award, and the Meritorious Unit Commendation.

Kevin's official military biography notes that he was raised in Clinton, and was commissioned as an officer through Army ROTC at High Point College in 1982. After commissioning, Kevin served in various posts, and received various promotions and commendations, in Germany, Texas, Bosnia, Croatia, Hawaii, California, Kansas, Iraq and Afghanistan.

BARBARA THOMAS (82) has been working with special needs adults for 21 years as director of a theater program that meets at night and on weekends and that mounts a major theater production in the Spring of each year.  For her efforts, Barb was named Baltimore County Maryland's 2008 Volunteer of the Year and has received a Baltimore County Star Award. Barb's extraordinary work with her extremely hard-working drama troupe has been recognized in articles in publications such as the Baltimore Sun.  (Barb also donates her spare time to mentor an autistic child in his T-ball program.)

Barb's work with her theater troupe mirrors her experience at Surrattsville, where she was active in chorus and drama, earning leading roles each year in musicals directed by Charlie Waddell.  In the spring of 1982 she was selected to the Prince George's County Honors Chorus, earning the coveted first soprano selection. The Honors Chorus performed at the Kennedy Center Opera House.  After a competitive audition process Barb was selected to study Voice at Shenandoah College and Conservatory.  In May 1986 she graduated with degrees in Voice and Musical Theatre.  Later that same year Barb was chosen to sing the National Anthem at a Washington Redskins game.  (The Redskins helped her surprise her father, TSgt. Jessie Thomas (USAF and US Army Air Corps), a lifelong Redskins fan, who had no idea until a minute before she sang that she would have this honor.)

Barb was especially close to her sister, the late Reverend Susan Thomas-Azud (73), a 2005 Achievement Award recipient.  Susan's influence over the years led to Barb's commitment to community service and her work with special needs adults.

[Ed note: Photos and bios of these extraordinary Achievement Award recipients, and their absolutely amazing predecessors, can be found at the web site at, and photos of the recipients proudly hang in the Foundation's Legacy Hall at the School.    A video program featuring the honorees also appears on the Foundation's new youtube channel – see below.]

3.  REPORT ON FOUNDATION-FUNDED FIELD TRIP FOR AP PSYCHOLOGY STUDENTSLast month, the Foundation proudly provided the funding for a field trip by the School's Advanced Placement Psychology students to the national headquarters of the American Psychological Association in Washington.  A highlight of the trip was a meeting between the students and the CEO of the APA, Dr. Norman Anderson.  The students were joined by Foundation Board member Donald Knight, PhD (92), who organized the field trip, and by Foundation Board member Dave Cranford, PhD (90).  (Donald and Dave are both psychologists.)

[Ed note:  The Foundation encourages alumni and other members of the Surrattsville community to connect with the School to share their career experiences at events like the APA field trip and the School’s Career Days.  Please send me an email at if you have an idea that might be an appropriate Foundation initiative.]

4.  FOUNDATION LAUNCHES YOUTUBE CHANNELThanks to the wonderfully creative – and absolutely tireless -- efforts of Foundation Board member Sandra Smith Simmons (70), the Foundation now has a lively youtube channel.  The channel, which will continue to grow over time, features an introduction to the mission of the Foundation and news, photos and videos of interest to the Surrattsville community.  Current features include a multi-media presentation of the Hornet Fight Song (see if you can sing along to the included lyrics!), a feature on the recent AP field trip to the APA, a video of the presentation of the inaugural Foundation/JROTC Scholarship, photos and bios of this year's Foundation Scholarship and Achievement Award recipients, and a program on the Foundation-funded PTSA Treasure Chests awarded last month.  Please take a moment to view the several "shows" on the channel at:

And please become a subscriber.

Many thanks to Sandra for establishing this great new Foundation communication initiative!

5.  FOUNDATION FUNDS 2013 GRADUATES' TREASURE CHESTS.  Last month, the PTSA awarded the second annual "Memorial Treasure Chests" to a group of graduating seniors.  The chests are stocked with items useful to graduating seniors regardless of their plans for after graduation, are awarded at random, and in provided honor of Surrattsville's Fallen Heroes.  The Foundation is proud to provide funding for this very nice PTSA recognition program.

Here's a report on this year's program from PTSA President Candace Leach:

"Good morning!  Last week's Treasure Chest presentation was such a great success!  We cannot say thank you enough to the Foundation, as it just doesn't seem to be enough!  In each "Chest" we placed the following items: Ironing Board, Iron, 4 Bowls, Plates, and Cups, 1 Ream of Printer/Computer Paper, Packs College Ruled Paper, 1 Dry Erase Board, XL Twin Sheet Set, 1 Fleece Blanket, 1 Comforter (XL Twin), 1 Hamper/Laundry Bag, 1 Pencil/Pen Holder,  Graduation Bubbles, Pens and Pencils, 1 Class of 2013 Tassel Keychain, 1 First-Aid Kit, and Post-it/Sticky Notes (Various Sizes).  Here are the Treasure Chest recipients:

Mr. Taylor (SHS Educator) Treasure Chest, awarded to Morgan Comer,
Rev. Susan Thomas (73) Treasure Chest, awarded to Johsonette Bishop,
Bill Talbert (65) Treasure Chest, awarded to Hawa Anthony,
James Duke (39) Treasure Chest, awarded to Landos Wallace, and
Tekau Rasayon (12) Treasure Chest, awarded to Mareico Greene!

In addition to the Treasure Chests, we awarded, in honor of the Surrattsville High School Foundation, an 8" Google Play tablet, with a 2-year warranty, to each of Robert Middleton and
Morgan Comer!  And that's not it!  After the completion of the awarding of the chests and tablets, I gave Mrs. Holden a call and asked if we could surprise at least two more scholars with Treasure Chests!  She told me to show up at the school on May 24 after the seniors conclude graduation rehearsal!  We awarded two additional Tekau Rasayon (12) Treasure Chests to MaKiah Green and Jamia Belton!  It didn't end there!  We awarded an additional SHS Foundation award of an 8" Google Play tablet, with a 2-year warranty to MaKiah Green!

Once again, thank you for everything!  We look forward to doing this again next year! Candace"

[Ed. Note:  The Foundation is thrilled to partner with the PTSA in this very nice send-off for these lucky graduating seniors.  Photos of the 2012 and 2013 Treasure Chests ceremony are on the Foundation's web site at, and a video program about the 2013 presentations is on the Foundation's youtube channel.]

6.  AMAZING HISTORICAL PHOTOS POSTED ON FACEBOOK GROUP.  Thanks to the tireless research and archiving work that has been undertaken since 2000 by the Foundation's talented Archivist/Historian, Shelby Lee Oppermann (79), the Surrattsville Foundation Facebook Group (called "Surrattsville Alumni" on Facebook) now features a large and absolutely fascinating collection of historical Surrattsville-themed photos.  The photos date back over a century and capture numerous "eras" in the history of the School and various components of the greater Surrattsville community.  You can reach the photos by clicking on the Photos tab at the Surrattsville Alumni Group on Facebook, and then clicking on the Historical Photos tab.

Thanks to Shelby for all of her extraordinary efforts for over a decade to keep the School's history alive!

7.  SEEKING PHOTO OF CAPT. JEFFREY L. HARRIS.  In  response to the recent article about Bob Jeter's (64) work on the Foundation's Fallen Heroes plaque for the Legacy Wall at the School, Lisa Lark is seeking a photo of Jeffrey.  Please contact her at if you might have any helpful info concerning locating a photo of this Hornet and Vietnam War veteran.

8.  FIGHT SONG MYSTERY AWAITING ANSWERLast year, in response to a request from the School, the Foundation provided the School with lyrics and sheet music for the Alma Mater and for the Hornet Fight Song.  The recent publication on the Foundation's youtube channel ( of a multi-media feature on the Fight Song started a conversation on the Foundation's Facebook Group page about the Song. 

Norm Carmichael (65) noted in that conversation that the "current" lyrics (at least since 1968 when I arrived) to the Fight Song were not always the lyrics (although the music appears to have been the same throughout the Fight Song's history).  Norm reported that the following were the lyrics known to the Class of 65:

"Surrattsville sturdy men all fall in line
We’re going to win this game some other time
For our dear old school we’ll rah, rah, rah
We’re going to fight, fight, fight, fight, fight with all out might.
We’re going to fight ‘til this old game is won,
‘til all our very best is done.
We’ll give an old time yell of sis-boom-bah, rah, rah, rah
Surratts-ville High. Rah Rah"

Perhaps it was the odd second line, and/or the anachronistic gender identification, in the "old song" that caused the change sometime between 1965 and 1968, but we'd love to have any information our readers might have on the change, and especially concerning the identity of the author(s) of the great, current (and former) lyrics of the Fight Song (as featured on the youtube channel).

9.  SEEKING WEB SITE DESIGN ASSISTANCE.  The Foundation is seeking a member of the Surrattsville community with web site design skills to volunteer to assist with some changes being contemplated for our web site at   Please send me an email at if you'd consider donating your skills to this effort.

10.  FOUNDATION CONTINUING WORK ON FALLEN HEROES PLAQUE FOR LEGACY HALL.  As reported previously, thanks to the efforts of Bob Jeter (64), the Foundation is preparing a Fallen Heroes plaque to hang in the Legacy Hall that will contain the names and Class years of Hornets who died while serving the country (or later from service-related injuries).  Please contact Bob at if you know of any Hornets who should be honored in this way.

[Ed note:  Photos of the Legacy Wall can be found on the Foundation's web site at]

11.  INFO ON THIS MONTH'S ANNUAL BLUE CRABS EVENT.  Evan Vutsinas (76), who kindly organizes the annual All Classes/Faculty/Staff "Surrattsville Night" at Blue Crabs stadium, has posted this update about the 2013 event:

"Saturday, June 22, 2013 is the date for the 4th Annual Surrattsville High School All-Classes/Faculty/Staff event at the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs baseball park in Waldorf.  Tickets are $25 and include a game ticket, a two-hour all you can eat buffet (including Ribs!), a kids' park wristband for all in attendance, on-the-field access for a celebration before the game, and fireworks after the game.  Gates open at 5:30, the buffet starts at 6:00, and the game starts at 6:35.

The link to purchase tickets is  Enter the case sensitive code "SHS" when prompted, click "Buy" and choose your seats in the Picnic Pavilion, complete your order and print your tickets, and come out and meet your schoolmates at Regency Furniture Stadium.  If you have any questions or comments, contact Evan at "

Many thanks to Evan for coordinating this great annual event!

12.  CLASS OF 64 50 YEAR REUNION.   We received this announcement about the Class of 64's upcoming golden event:  "The Class of 1964 is planning a 50th reunion in Ocean City for late September 2014.  It might seem a long way off, but we all know how fast time goes by.  We need to firm up a place, reserve a block of rooms to set aside, and determine how much space we will need.   Please email Ginger Trapanotto, or Phil Foster, if you (alone or with a guest) are interested in attending.   Also, if you know the whereabouts of any former classmate, please ask him/her to email one of us or you can forward the information to us.  We appreciate any help you can provide and the "committee" is looking forward to re-visiting the 60s with everyone."

13.  FOUNDATION FACEBOOK PRESENCE CONTINUES TO GROW The Foundation's Facebook Group – called "Surrattsville Alumni" – continues to grow, and now is approaching 1500 members (after a large leap forward in numbers in the last several months).  This is a great, and free, way for folks to stay in touch (or, perhaps, find a lost class ring left on your Camaro's turn signal arm in 1968!).  Similarly, the Class-specific Facebook Groups – that have names like "Surrattsville 1979" and the like -- continue to grow.  These Facebook Groups are becoming an increasingly active way for folks to share memories and news updates of interest to the Surrattsville community.  Please consider joining the Surrattsville Alumni Group, and your own Class-specific Group.

14.  ANNUAL CHRISTMAS IN APRIL GOLF FUND RAISER.  The Prince George's County Christmas in April chapter, whose Executive Director is Achievement Award recipient Mary Kucharski (76), will hold its annual golf outing fund raiser on September 23 at the Andrews AFB course.  Information on this great event for a great cause is available at or by calling 301-868-0937.

15.  FOULOIS REUNION NOW A SURRATTSVILLE-WIDE GATHERING.  We've learned from Jim Lawrence and Rick Torrecarion that an event that started out as a Foulois Junior High reunion has broadened to an all-Surrattsville outdoor party, featuring Teen Club favorite Slow Rush, on July 6.  Details about this event can be found on a Facebook event site at  Please contact Rick through that page if you plan to attend.


Here's hoping you're all enjoying a wonderful Spring!

All the best, Henry Smith (71)



  • Patricia Becker Oles (71)
  • Steve Profilet (71)
  • Vicki Forsht Williams (65 and former faculty), In memory of Eugene Colgan and Richard Mortimer
  • Nancy Miller (67)
  • Vicky Simontacchi Young (57), In memory of Richard C. Mortimer (57, former faculty)
  • Bob Marr (71)
  • Debbie Cox Marr (72)
  • Mark Scoville (74), In memory of Mike Helfrich (74) and Nancy Maddox (74)
  • Rick Torrecarion (74), In loving memory of Patsy Torrecarion (76)
  • Linda Dorsey Blum (66)
  • Nancy Lapin LoBianco (65), In memory of Tony Marchetti (65)
  • Sandra Smith Simmons (70)
  • Duke Coleman (53), In memory of Donald England (53)
  • Lois Barrett Hessberg (70)
  • Lee Hessberg (68)
  • Donna Rae Sturtevant Smith (70), In memory of Cliff Hersey
  • Henry Smith (71), In memory of Cliff Hersey
  • Sandra Smith Simmons (70)
  • Donald Knight (92)
  • David Cranford (90)
  • Vera Twigg
  • Paul Monaghan (59)