Here is an undated newspaper article, again from the Surratt House archives, that appeared in an unidentified local Clinton paper sometime during Mr. Pryde's tenure as Principal:
"Historic Surrattsville School Homecoming Day Wednesday. Historic Surrattsville School graduates are coming home. From near and far, alumni of the second oldest school in Prince George's County, MD will assemble Wednesday at the spot where some of them learned the three R's around the turn of the century. [Ed note: For you younger readers, that would be the turn of the 20th century!] The school is now headed by Principal John M. Pryde. Those of the 750 graduates who can make the journey will join knuckle-rapping teachers of other days in dedicating an addition to the present streamlined school. They will be welcomed by old friends in the gala afternoon and evening program climaxed by an address delivered by R. Floyd Cromwell, State Supervisor of Education and Vocational Guidance.
Received First Diploma - Among those selected for special honor is Miss Blanch Hurtt, who received the school's first diploma in 1907. She still lives in the area. The celebration, arranged by a group of community workers, will begin at 2 o'clock with an "open house" featuring displays of fading photographs, final certificates, rosters and other mementos of another era. A fried chicken dinner, to which the county commissioners, members of the board of education and other dignitaries have been invited, will be served from 5 to 7 o'clock. Goodbye handshakes will be exchanged at a reception following dedication exercise.
A first grader will give a stage performance and proud members of the school's new band will provide instrumental and vocal music. Ernest A. Loveless, Jr., Class of '39, will be master of ceremonies. Refreshed memories of older grads will recall the 8-room school, plus stable, on a knoll above Route 5 as it was in the horse and buggy days of 1906. Available records do not definitely establish when its doors were opened. A brick wing was constructed in 1927 and 21 years later two rooms were added to the original frame building. The brick addition to the be dedicated Wednesday has six classrooms, a cafeteria, a gymnasium, a home economics suite and a science laboratory. It cost $650,000.
Class bells in the new wing first rang February 11. Their clamor signaled the first day in two years that all of the 754 pupils had sufficient room for all-day sessions. A total of 29 teachers impart instruction in grades one to twelve.
Pryde Admits Pride - Supervising their work and school administration is Mr. Pryde who admits his pride in the school and arrangements for the Alumni Homecoming. "It will be the proudest day in Surrattsville's history, " he prophesied. The little community has a history of its own. John Wilkes Booth tarried a while there just after he assassinated President Lincoln. Trustees of the school are Ernest A. Loveless, Sr., J. Paul Duke and R. Moss Carrico. Its nearly 200-member PTA is presided over by Cyril M. Wildes.