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 Volume V Issue II Fall - 2002 

Straight From the Gavel
By Terry Dermody - President
"Where do we go from here?"

This past month your Association celebrated it's fourth anniversary as a formal organization. During this period, we have made significant progress toward fulfilling our founding purposes. In my previous columns, I have thoroughly documented the evolution of our organization and have cited our progress and milestones. The way the association has grown in four short years is nothing short of amazing. Who could have guessed? But, here we are. Now where?

In this year's "Presidents Annual Message to the Membership" (which can be found here) I reported on the accomplishments of the last year and present my thoughts as to "where we go from here". As you read it, you can see that we have continued to grow as an organization and now are faced with some important decisions regarding our future. Our journey has brought us to the proverbial "fork in the road" and following Yogi Berra's advice we should "take it." I agree wholeheartedly! But lacking Yogi's profound wisdom, I am not exactly sure in which direction we should go or what initiative should be our priority. Once again the board seeks your thoughts and suggestions as to just how we should proceed, what ideas capture your imagination and what initiatives would receive your support.

The ideas presented in the President's Message are just that- ideas, which were presented primarily for the purpose of stimulating thought. Your input is essential. It was your collective ideas that created the organization as we know it today and it is my hope that it will be your collective wisdom that guides us on the next leg of our journey. Planning the future of your association is not a spectator sport. So do not sit in the bleachers watching the game; step up to the plate and become a player. Its simple - just contact me with your ideas, thoughts and suggestions at the Association PO Box, alumni website: or directly at

One thing I want you to remember is, as stated in the Annual Message, you have my assurance that no matter which path we take it is my commitment that we will not deviate from the founding purposes of our organization. Every project, event and undertaking will be consistent with these purposes. In this vein, I direct your attention to the "words of Doug Sheldon" as quoted in the President's Report which I firmly believe sets the tone for the future and should serve to inspire your participation.

One of the ideas that has captured my imagination, is the creation of local alumni chapters. We have been searching vigorously for ways to increase the visibility of the Association . Over the last four years I observed that those alumni who had the opportunity to attend Alumni Weekend and participate in the events and activities became,our most passionate disciples and supporters. It then struck me that there are many alumni that, because of geography, are not receiving the same message and viewing the association in the same light as those who have had the opportunity to return to Sidney for the festivities. It is my thought that for those who can not return to experience the association in person, we could bring the association to them.

It is my belief that local chapters would serve this purpose and could help us increase the awareness of the association and foster support for our objectives by taking the message to alumni around the country who have had no personal contact with the association. To test this theory, we will be launching a pilot program in the New Jersey Metropolitan Area. We have already begun plans to host a dinner cruise aboard the "Spirit of New Jersey" out of Jersey City, NJ sometime next fall. This will be open to all alumni, parents of alumni, current and former faculty and guests.

Anyone who is interested in attending this event is asked to contact me at my e-mail address or at 609-631-9516 so that we can gauge the interest for this project. A formal announcement will be sent out early next spring.

Another project for which we need your help with is our effort to locate former faculty. We have very few former faculty among our members. We firmly believe that we would be a stronger organization with the participation of those who were so instrumental and influential in our lives. Sharing memories at the Reunion Weekend is not complete without being able to share these memories with our former teachers. One of the most frequent questions I hear at the reunion weekends is do we know the whereabouts of our former teachers. Up until now, for the most part, my answer has been "I don't know" . The next time I am asked this question, I want to be able to answer, a resounding " yes I do, he or she is sitting right over there so go over and reintroduce yourself." If any of you reading this column have any information about former faculty members be sure to let us know. It is our hope, with your help, that we will be able feature as many of our ,former teachers as possible in future issues of "Reflections" and enjoy their company at future Alumni Weekends. Our goal to attract faculty members to the Association also includes current faculty.

Membership in the association is also open to all the Sidney Central School faculty, former and current. I do not think. this message has reached the current faculty. Please help us spread the word. They could play an important role in solidifying our relationship with the school.

As you can sense, these are exciting times for the association. The future is before us. The "fork in the road" is staring us in the face. Let's take it together.

On behalf of the directors, officers and volunteers of the association I would like to take-this opportunity to wish each and everyone a Happy Holiday Season. See you next issue.