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Principal's memorial dedicated

May 02, 2000|By SCOTT BUTKI

A memorial for former Hagerstown High School Principal John D. Zentmyer was dedicated Monday morning at the site where the school once stood.

His daughter, Helen Zentmyer Kreykenbohm, and other family members unveiled the memorial plaque at the site near the intersection of Mealey Parkway and North Potomac Street. It includes a bust of Zentmyer.

"It is a beautiful plaque," his daughter told the crowd of more than 100 people. "A very good likeness of my father."

His daughter and other speakers, including former teachers and students at the school, described Zentmyer as a loving, caring man.

Proclamations for the memorial from the city of Hagerstown, the Maryland State Senate, the Maryland House of Delegates, and the Governor's office were read and given to his family.

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Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said May 1 had been designated John Zentmyer Day.

Zentmyer, a Washington County native, was principal of Hagerstown High School from 1926 to 1946. In 1948, he was appointed to the Washington County Board of Education, and served until 1954.

Zentmyer died in June 1974. The school was razed in 1981.

The plaque is atop a 4-foot limestone pedestal. The pedestal contains a red brick from the old school.

Peter G. Callas, a former student of Zentmyer's who went on to become an elementary school principal and a Maryland state delegate, organized the push for the memorial.

He thought Zentmyer should be remembered for his good deeds, he said.

"It was long overdue," Callas said.

The memorial cost about $6,000, Callas said. Most of that came through donations

Enough money was raised to establish a scholarship fund in Zentmyer's memory. The scholarship will go to a student pursuing a career in education, Callas said.

Callas Contractors Inc., run by his brother, Mike, provided free labor for the memorial and other organizations also provided free services, he said.

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