Madeira schools will celebrate 80 years

By Regina Villiers.  Originally published September 17, 2003 in The Suburban Life, added September 14, 2017.

This is the entire enrollment, including teachers, of Madeira High School in 1924. No identities are known. If you know anyone in this photograph, please contact Regina at Suburban Life by e-mailing or writing Suburban Life, 394 Wards Corner Road, Suite 170, Loveland OH 45140.

On the second weekend in October, Madeira schools will host a huge homecoming to celebrate its log tradition for excellence and to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Madeira High School’s first graduating class in 1923.  When the class started four years earlier, it had 15 members.  Only five graduated.  They were Harold DeMar, Julian Nelson, Alma Slagle, Bernice Surran and Lloyd Wilson.  The graduation was held at Madeira Presbyterian Church.

Previous to this new school, Madeira had an excellent elementary school, under good teachers such as the legendary Zachary Taylor DeMar; but high school students had to go elsewhere to further their education.  Cleo Hosbrook talked often of how she rode the train every day to Walnut Hills High School.

The first high school was housed in the old school on the west side of Miami Avenue.  This later became Perin School and has now been torn down.  Overcrowding became a problem there, and a new high school was built across the street in 1937.  This is now Sellman, the site of the middle school.

After WWII, population jumped and overcrowding again became a serious problem.  A high school was built on Loannes Court, and a new campus-style school opened there in the late 1950’s.  This location is the current high school.

No members of the 1923 class are known to be still living, but Helen Henke Beekley, class of 1928 still lives in Madeira.  Her nephew, Dan Henke, class of ’51 hopes she can come to the celebration.

Henke, the 80the anniversary chair, says reservations for the event are pouring in from everywhere.  Nicolette Wildeboer, ’73, who now lives in The Netherlands, has contacted him and hopes to come.  There are people from all points, including Florida, North Carolina, Mississippi, Michigan, Virginia and Washington D.C.

So far, the class of 1953, celebrating its 50th, has the biggest signup.  They are planning a Friday night pig roast to top off that night’s festivities.  Some of their class members who are coming are Diane Wilnick, Bob Burroughs, Janet Gross, Mary Louise Miller, Juanita Vogt, Frank Miller and Rosie Bauer.

The class of 1954 will also be well represented and will sport a 1962 red Cadillac convertible in the homecoming parade.

The class of 1973 will be celebrating its 30th reunion, and the class of 1983 its 20th.  The 1983 class will have a family picnic on Sunday at Sharon Woods.

The festivities will start Thursday, Oct. 9, with a pep rally bonfire at the high school.

The homecoming parade will kick off Friday night’s events, and a football game will follow.  A hospitality tent will be set up I the east end zone after the parade.

All-day activities are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 11.  Both schools will host an “open house” from 10a.m. to 2 p.m. That night, a reunion dinner will take place at 7:30 p. at the Marriott-Mason Montgomery Road, preceded by a social hour and a “class photos” photography session.

A reunion package to events is being offered for $50 a person Contact Dan Henke, 965-8270, for this.

Tim and Bill Yeomans are in charge of the parade, and Terry Medert is putting together an alumni band.

The Madeira Schools Foundation will give two new annual awards for the first time.  They are the Distinguished Staff Award and the Distinguished Alumni/Citizen Award.