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Heritage Academy Alumni come home

October 03, 2009|By MARIE GILBERT

HAGERSTOWN -- As JoAnn Horn Cashman walked through the doors of Heritage Academy on Saturday morning, she became a bit nostalgic.

She had first stepped foot on campus in 1970 as a second-grader who rode a bus from Frederick, Md., each school day with her older brother.

There was no gymnasium in those days, so students exercised in the halls.

There was no chapel, and the library was much smaller.

Going from room to room, it was easy to remember the past, she said.

Just driving up the road that leads to the school brought back memories.

It was like coming home.

"The classmates, the teachers -- we're a family," the New Windsor, Md., resident said.

Reminiscing was a big part of the day as hundreds of alumni, current students, faculty and friends celebrated the 40th anniversary of Heritage Academy.

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Seeing the past and present students come together to enjoy the event was a reminder of the close-knit relationships and achievements that have helped the school thrive for the past four decades, said Roy Grove, one of the original board members.

The idea for a local Biblical Christian school began in 1968, he said. A small group of people began discussing the idea, doing a lot of research and meeting on a regular basis.

After securing land and a way to finance the school, construction got under way and a headmaster and administrator were hired. In 1969, Heritage Academy became a reality, welcoming 119 students to its new classrooms.

Jayne and Robert Becker had just graduated from college when they were hired to teach at the new Heritage Academy, where they continue to teach today. She teaches kindergarten, while her husband teaches high school history.

"My husband is a history buff and loved the idea of living and working in this area," she said.

The couple has had three children graduate from the school.

Linda Richesson, school secretary, said hundreds of people were expected to participate in the 40th anniversary celebration. Jeannette Dan served as the event coordinator. The day featured a memorabilia room, food and sporting events.

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