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Memorial honors principal

April 20, 2000

Wishing to honor former Hagerstown High School Principal John D. Zentmyer, several graduates and community members raised money and donated services to erect a memorial to the late educator.

Zentmyer was principal of the school from 1926 to 1946. He died in 1974.

Pete Callas said he and other Hagerstown High School graduates came up with the idea.

"We wanted to do something to recognize his leadership," said Callas, a 1943 graduate of the school, which has since been torn down.

Callas said the high standards Zentmyer set for students resulted in class after class of high achievers.

"He was a very good educator, strict but fair. He was able to bring in outstanding teachers and develop a fine curriculum," Callas said.

On Thursday, the memorial was placed on the grounds of North Hagerstown High School near the site of the former school.

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The memorial is 4 feet high and has a limestone base. On top of the limestone is a slab of granite with a bronze plaque thanking Zentmyer for his dedication. A spotlight will illuminate the monument, he said.

Callas said the plaque alone cost $2,500 and the group raised $3,500 for the project.

Students from South Hagerstown High School planted flowers and shrubs around the memorial.

A dedication ceremony will be held Monday, May 1, at 10 a.m. at the memorial. Members of the North Hagerstown High School Jazz Band are expected to perform for the public.

- Kimberly Yakowski

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