Letters to the Editor 1/8

January 09, 2002

Letters to the Editor 1/8

HJC had other 'founders'

To the editor:

I would like to offer some additional information in reference to the history of "Hagerstown Community College" (formerly Hagerstown Junior College) presented within the article of The Herald-Mail "Person of the Year" award for 2001.

During the mid-1940s, Washington County Sen. Allen Meyers and the "Washington County House of Delegates," namely, Myron Bloom, Harold Ankney, Robert Tenny, Henry Holzapfel III, and my father, John Newcomer Sr., worked very hard with University of Maryland, and Dr. Byrd there, to secure funding for a junior college in Hagerstown.

They finally succeeded and the college opened in the old North High building in 1946. The first dean (founder), was Dr. Alvey Isanogle. In 1949, Dr. James Mileham took the helm until 1953.


1946 was a very important year for Washington County in the education department. This year the veterans of World War II were returning to complete their college education and University of Maryland was on overload and HJC was their only hope. My brother, Frank Newcomer, was one of the first GIs who entered HJC in 1946. My brother John and I entered HJC in 1949. My dad, John Newcomer Sr., was very thankful at that time that the Washington County Delegates and Senator Meyers hung in there until we had our junior college here in Hagerstown.

The article referred to above, stated that the college was founded "almost 50 years ago."

Those of us who attended HJC during the early years at the college, recall fond memories from the late '40s (55 years ago, 1946-2001).

From 1946 to 1953 Lois Smith (later Harrison) was the registrar/administrative assistant to Dr. Isanogle.

In your article, you reported the founder of the college was Atlee Kepler. Giving Dr. Kepler all appreciation for his work, we would like to give credit here to the original "founder," Dr. Isanogle, in 1946.

Charles Newcomer

Potomac relies on volunteers

To the editor:

I am writing to reassure the Bockstanz family and other families on Randolph Avenue that their children will receive a warm welcome at Potomac Heights if the proposed redistricting is approved by the BOE. Our principal has made that clear from the beginning when she spoke to the BRRC.

Our concern has always focused on the loss to the school of the families from Oak Hill and Hamilton. These are families that make up 20 percent of our PTA, a significant contribution to our volunteer base and to the academic success of our school. Comments on test scores have focused on the inevitable drop that will occur when these families leave because we know what they contribute.

Why are volunteers so important to Potomac Heights? As a small school, we do not have the support personnel that a larger school, like Eastern, enjoys based solely on size. These include a full-time reading resource teacher, a full-time guidance counselor, multiple special education teachers, a half-time behavior specialist, etc. We do not enjoy the Title One personnel that schools like Eastern receive even though our FARM rate is 33 percent. Twenty-five percent of our students are located in HotSpot neighborhoods, but we do not receive HotSpot help. We survive with volunteers.

Will new students and their families receive a warm welcome? Of course. Will that warm welcome compensate for the lack of services? Each family will have to decide based on their own needs.

Lynn Cueto

Unwed mom doesn't mean bad mom

To the editor:

Mrs. Raffensberger may not be a prude, but she certainly is sanctimonious.

Where do you get off judging that an unwed mother isn't fit to have her picture on the front page of this or any other newspaper?

She may be very proud of her children, be a very good mother and be a good and upstanding citizen. You speak of God yet you seem to have forgotten about the lesson of casting stones.

Sylvia J. Orendorff
Falling Waters, W.Va.

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