SCS Alumni Newsletter Heading
 Volume VII Issue I Spring - 2004 
Straight From the Gavel
By Terry Dermody `65

"Bits & Pieces"

A lot has been happening around the Alumni Homestead since I talked with you through my column last fall and I would like to share it with you. My first inclination was to inundate you with all the intricate details because, for those who know me, that is just my natural tendency. But, I have resisted the temptation this time, first, because the editor would probably balk at providing me more space in the paper, but, more importantly, in this age of information overload, I have come to realize how hard it is to separate the message from the minutiae. So rather than overwhelming you with all the particulars and risk having the message go unheard, (a rather important message for that matter) I thought I would take a different approach this issue and condense my column into a bits of pithy comments on what has been going on with the Association in the last four months and pieces of some general thoughts that have been on my mind for awhile. You might say this is my version of a series of 30 second sound bites.

1. The "Alumni Sports Hall of Fame" became a reality with the first induction ceremony and dinner held on Friday November 28, 2003 in Sidney. This was an evening to remember with the induction of athletes Randy Payne '69, Jennifer (Finnegan) Patruno '92 and legendary coaches Tom Robertson and Fran Redmond. I was fortunate to be able to participate in this momentous and historic evening and to celebrate the tradition of excellence and accomplishments of the Sidney High Sports Program and to honor those who contributed to this tradition. I only wish all of you could have shared in this fantastic evening because this is something in which our Association can take pride. So make plans now to join us for this year's event in November and share the experience. I want to personally congratulate the 2003 inductees and extend my thanks to the Hall of Fame Committee under the leadership of Chairman Greg Davie'76.

2. With this issue of Reflections the next chapter in the quest to honor the extraordinary achievements and accomplishments of alumni and faculty is being unveiled with the establishment of the "Wall of Fame for Distinguished Alumni & Educators" The criteria have been established and all of you in the Alumni Community are invited to submit nominations for election to the "Wall". The Wall - of Fame Committee chaired by Doug Sheldon,'59 will be accepting applications beginning in June of this year and the selection process will commence next January. The final results will be announced in May, 2005 and the honorees will be inducted at a ceremony at the Alumni Luncheon in July, 2005. We couldn't be more excited over this announcement and hope to see you at the "Wall"

3. Alumni Center, located in Room 319 at the Sidney Civic Center, has become quite the showcase. Under the watchful eye and dedication of Bonnie Provenzon Curtis,' 59 the Center Manager, this former school classroom has been transformed into an attractive and efficient meeting room and an impressive museum of Alumni archives. and memorabilia. The most recent addition to Alumni Center is a brand new computer system, which will facilitate the archiving process. Alumni Center will be open during Alumni Weekend in July so be sure to stop by and check it out for yourself. I think you will be impressed, thanks to Bonnie and her committee.

4. Preparations for Alumni Weekend, 2004 have been underway for many months now. The Reunion Committee has been working non-stop to create a memorable and enjoyable time for everyone. I predict that this could be the best Reunion Weekend ever. So don't delay- make your plans now to be part of the tradition of Alumni Weekend where old memories are revived and new memories are made. You will not regret your decision, I promise you.

5. Great pains were taken to create the most informative website possible to serve the needs of the Alumni Community. It took awhile but I firmly believe that our Webmaster has done just that. But to my astonishment I have still been receiving a barrage of e-mails for information that was readily available on our website. Even after I explained that. the information could be found there, there were still some who insisted that it did not exist. This became a real mystery to me and I was concerned that this was a more wide spread problem than was being reported, so I undertook my own investigation. What I discovered is that some of you must have stumbled onto the Sidney School District website by mistake. This became evident when I saw postings from Alumni in the guest book. Although the District site has an alumni page this is not the official site of the Alumni Association. But at least now I can understand the confusion. Please take note-the Alumni Association website can be accessed at

That explained part of the mystery, but for those who accessed the correct site I could not find an adequate explanation for the confusion you encountered. However, if there was a remote possibility that our site design was creating the problems, we went ahead and redesigned the Home Page to facilitate navigation through the site and to make the information even more visible to the user. Hopefully now you will be able to find what you are looking for without any difficulty. If you are looking for: a directory of classmates- it is there, for Alumni Weekend & Reunion information or pictures - it is there, for a list of deceased alumni- it is there, for information on the Sports Hall of Fame or the Wall of Fame-it is there , for the membership application it is there, for a copy of our by-laws or financial information-it is there, for archived articles from Reflections- they are there, for the Presidents Annual report- it is there, for a list of Class Representatives and Officers and Directors of the Association- it is there. Almost everything you can think of is there. But we are always open to suggestions and ideas. So; take another tour through the site and I bet you will now be able to say, "it is there".

6. The Pleasant St School project continues to be a hot issue for the Association. We want to be able to give you an answer, once and for all, to the lingering question "Can this building be saved?" We still have a vision that this project could be the Association's legacy to the Community. If we don't do it, we are convinced it never will get done. In effect, the future of this building is in our hands. We have contacted a select few in the Alumni Community who have expressed an interest in extending their support and are in a financial position to cover the cost of this project, with the understanding that their contribution would not necessarily lead to the preservation of the building if the survey is unfavorable. But these contributors look at this as an investment and their contribution as a way to settle the question posed above, once and for all. Already we have raised about 25% of the funds needed to conduct a condition survey. We are going to be contacting a few more of you shortly who might be interested in helping us complete the job. If you have not heard from us yet, but share this vision and purpose and would like to make a pledge, please reach out to me at

That concludes my update but brings me to the final sound bite of this column. This is really more of a commentary on my favorite pet peeve-Association Membership. This really should have been at the top of the list because of the significant impact it has on the future and survival of the Association, but I saved it for last for two reasons. First, it is a proven fact that most people retain more of what they read last and secondly, leaving it until last I would be able to tell by the response if anyone actually reads this column. I guess I could be in for a big disappointment.

So here goes

Can anyone explain to me that with over 4,000 issues of Reflections being mailed out and with a membership application in each issue why our paid membership is currently only at 850? 1 just don't get it. Is the application that easy to ignore? Is it that most of you are that indifferent towards the Alumni Association and could care less if you receive Reflections or not or even if the Association exists or not? I suspect not but if so, then I just don't get it. We have tried every conceivable method and approach that we could think of to expand membership. We have challenged you. We have appealed to you. We have tried to inspire you. But to no avail. We gain a few new members but lose others when their membership expires. I just don't get it. What more would you like your Association to do that would finally be an inspiration for you to become a member? Just by reading through this issue you can see all the progress that has been achieved. Isn't that worth the cost of the membership dues? If not then, I just don't get it. There is much more that we could be able to accomplish on your behalf with additional resources. For instance, we would like to publish Reflections on a heavier white paper to make it easier to read and the pictures clearer, but the cost would be doubled. We just can't afford it unless we limit our mailing roster to paid members only. We don't want to be faced with that decision. So can anybody explain what can be done? Why is this a struggle? I just don't get it. This situation is so critical to the survival of the Association and all the activities associated with it that a special executive meeting is being convened to brainstorm the problem. But, based on the previous response we cannot predict the outcome. However, we will persist in this endeavor because the benefits of success and the consequence of failure are at stake. If there is anyone out there that just does get it, we welcome your ideas and suggestions because, we just don't get it. It would be inappropriate to end this column after all my ranting and raving without extending our most sincere thanks to those 850 paid members who have demonstrated their support and embraced our purposes. You have our deepest gratitude. You are the reason for our success and existence.

See you in the fall.