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Forsyth Central High inducts first Hall of Fame class
Cumming Mayor, Almon Hill, 59 girls basketball team among honorees
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Forsyth Central Assistant Principal Josh Lowe, left, and Principal Mitch Young, right, present Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt with his induction into the school's Hall of Fame. - photo by Jim Dean

The 2016 Forsyth Central High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame

* D.B. Carroll – coach and teacher 1956-1966

* H. Ford Gravitt – class of 1961

* Yates Harvey – arts director 1988-2010

* Almon Hill – class of 1925, teacher, coach and superintendent

* Bill H. Barnett – class of 1959

* Gladyse Kennemore Barnett – class of 1931, teacher and counselor

* Jerry Brannon – class of 1959

* Clarence N. Lambert – first principal (Forsyth County High School)

* John Edgar Pirkle – class of 1956 and Col., U.S. Army (retired)

* 1959 Girls’ Basketball Team – region and state champions

CUMMING -- Attendees at Forsyth Central High School’s inaugural Alumni Association Hall of Fame induction ceremony took a trip back in time Thursday night to the high school’s 1940s and 1950s.

The ceremony, which was held in Central’s new cafeteria, honored 10 former students, teachers, administrators and coaches, as well as the 1959 girls’ basketball team.

The Hall of Fame was born out from an idea Assistant Principal Josh Lowe had after the school was given the go-ahead to form an alumni association.

“Last year we celebrated out 60th anniversary,” Principal Mitch Young said. “We were allowed, at that time, to pursue the development of an alumni association. I say it loud because there were a lot of other county initiatives going on at the time, but they gave us the blessing to pursue this, as [we are] the original high school in the county.”

Lowe, Young said, stepped forward with a vision for the association to bring alumni and community leaders together to ultimately make the evening happen.

In the last year, the alumni association was also to obtain uniform signage that is now hung throughout the school and start a scholarship program for seniors.

According to Lowe, Hall of Fame inductees were chosen from a pool of 50-60 people who were nominated by association members.

“We reviewed a very large number of nominees,” he said. “Only members of the Forsyth Central Alumni Association could nominate people for induction. We reviewed those and basically looked at Central’s 60 years and [specifically] looked at the first 30 for this initial night.

“The second year we will make sure to have another induction where people can nominate again, and we’ll have our committee narrow it down again.”

Lowe said he was pleased with the evening’s turnout, estimating between 250 and 300 attendees were present.

“I think the people who came really got the feeling of fellowship and [saw] old faces and old friends, and this is a good thing for Central,” he said.

Alumni Association board member Shannon Mize agreed with Lowe but also emphasized the importance of sharing the school’s history.

“A lot of you don’t like history, but if you don’t know your history, you don’t know the direct path to the future,” he said. “You’ve got to go to the past in order to get to the future.”

“All of you who have been inducted are leaders,” he added. “We need to look at what they’ve done, we need to look to that leadership. We need to tap that, and that way, we can go forward toward the future.”

Newly inducted Hall of Famers shared their pasts and various leadership roles at the event, helping attendees to understand preceding decades.

“History kind of came to life tonight,” Young said. “You see all the names on plaques, but [here] you got to see and talk to them, and it was a thrill.”