By Kate Zarczynski
Friday, February 22, 2019, the PVPV School celebrated 60 years at a full house event including former principals, teachers, parents, and alumni.
The evening included a program Emcee’d by George McLatchey and Jean Brooker Ellis, who were in the 4th Grade on the day the school opened in January of 1959. McLatchey then taught at PVPV from 1971-1981 and Ellis taught at PVPV/Rawlings from 1975-2008.
Several individuals who played such an important role in the history of the school – as well as the history of the Ponte Vedra Beach community – were in attendance and recognized, including, Jean Landrum Langston, daughter of Roy and Alice Landrum, Harriet LeMaster, wife of Ebie LeMaster, Randy Brown, son of J.R. Brown, Sr., Dr. Joe Caldwell, who taught at The PVPV School from 1959-1966, longtime volunteer Cynthia Prince, former teacher Jenny Veal, the original “PIcture Lady”, Marilyn Hoener, Maryanne Hibbard, who taught at PVPV from 1963-1981 and later was a longtime volunteer, Betty Bass, a bus driver at PVPV for over 45 years, and a poignant moment was when the only living member of the original teaching staff of 6 teachers – Mrs. Betty Hatcher – was surrounded by 7 of her former students from that first day in 1959.
The program included Troop 277 Color Guard, an invocation by School Board Member, Kelly Barrera, 5th Grade student Ally Luytjes performing America The Beautiful, a thank you from current Student Council President, Jack Berquist, and featured Celebration Speaker Randy Brown, who showed up in the tuxedo tails and top hat he wore at the school’s Fall Festival for many years in the early days! Brown’s father, J.R. Brown, Sr., led the committee to establish a school in Ponte Vedra Beach and secured the land site donated by Eunice Pitt Odom Semmes and he shared this story with the audience.
The biggest cheers in the room went up for two beloved principals, Bob Allten and Kathleen Furness. The room was nothing but smiles, hugs and laughter as old classmates, teachers and parents reminisced about the “good ole days.”
60 years of Ponte Vedra History Video: