CUMMING — The oldest high school in Forsyth County has 60 years and more than 15,000 alumni to its name, and recently added one more thing.
The Forsyth Central High School Alumni Association has been established as a nonprofit in honor of its 60thanniversary year and as a way to bring the past together to work for the future.
Anyone who graduated from Forsyth County or Forsyth Central High School can become a member of the association, with all funding going toward current students and scholarship programs.
“It really is the flagship institution of Forsyth County. It has to be,” said Paula Gault, a board member, graduate and former school system superintendent.
Unlike the four other high schools Forsyth now has, she said Central boasts alumni from all over the county because it was the only one until 1989.
The association is meant to honor the past, celebrate the present and provide for the future, as it is stated on the student-designed brochure.
Membership levels range from $25 to $5,000, said Josh Lowe, assistant principal at Central. First-year graduates will receive the initial year of membership free.
“We really have that family feel, that good community support that may not be everywhere,” Lowe said.
He said the association was also created to recognize the myriad accomplished graduates who have gone to notable careers, whether in the county or across the country or world or in the military.
Other board members include Chuck Welch, a Cumming councilman, Kevin Tallant, a lawyer for the city of Cumming, and Joey Pirkle, deputy superintendent of the school system.
The association will begin awarding scholarships to graduating seniors to be used toward furthering their education.
Amanda Neighbours, also a board member, said applicants must fill out a form, including references and maybe an essay.
“We have the opportunity to directly support current students and foster the community spirit,” she said. “I loved my time at Central, and to be able to give back to the school that gave me so much and that has grown but still has that pride … it’s about showing that Central pride to this day.”
For more information on scholarships or joining the alumni association, visit Forsyth.k12.ga.us/fcaa or facebook.om/forsythcentralalum.
Hall of Fame
While members aim to promote current students, the association’s hall of fame intends to honor those who have created successful lives after graduation.
Members of the alumni group can nominate anyone to the hall of fame, for which the inaugural class will be announced before graduation in May, said Tim Perry, a board member and graduate.
“It’s to be an inspiration to students. To say these successful people sat in the same classrooms, and they can see how others have been successful,” Perry said.
Hall of fame designations will be chosen based on “special impact” a nominee has had on the community, whether that is at Central, in Forsyth County or across the world.
Nominations can be made posthumously.
“We really are the best school system in the county,” Central’s Lowe said, “and it all started right here.”