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Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society seeks content for school book

| Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
A.J. Panian | Trib Total Media
Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society volunteers Jaime Golobish (left) and Ashley Wolk are spearheading a project to produce a book commemorating the 50th anniversary of Mt. Pleasant Area Junior-Senior High School, which marked the start of its first full school year in 1965. The society is seeking memorabilia from the school, as well as items from other area schools that helped compose the present day district, from the public. Photo taken Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Submitted
A booklet detailing the 1965 dedication of Mt. Pleasant Area Senior High School is among the relics already gathered by society volunteers with the intent of completing a book commemorating the school's 50th anniversary.

Last fall two Facebook posts stopped Mt. Pleasant Area alumnus Jaime Golobish.

One was about the dedication of Mt. Pleasant Area Senior High School in 1965 and another was on the merger of Mt. Pleasant Borough and Mt. Pleasant Township school districts to form Mt. Pleasant Area School District in 1960, she said.

“It struck me that, with the year the high school was opened, we were approaching a pretty big anniversary,” said Golobish, who graduated in 1997 and serves as a volunteer member of the Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society.

“I thought we should do something about it,” she said.

With the support of roughly 10 of her fellow society volunteers, Golobish has spearheaded an effort to produce a book, which will commemorate the school's 50th anniversary, along with the 55th anniversary of the formation of the present-day district, she said.

It will also offer details on the schools that existed before the formation of the present-day district, she added.

“We're looking to feature the history of Mt. Pleasant Area, but also to look at all the local schools,” Golobish said.

To accomplish its goal, the society is asking the public to lend or donate any photographs, memorabilia, relics and records to its members related to the district and preceding area schools from Mt. Pleasant to Norvelt to Donegal to Stahlstown, she said.

“The things we're looking for include pictures of any of the current schools and events held there during the last 50 years that people might have, along with similar items from the older schools that aren't open anymore,” Golobish said. “Be it class photos, diplomas, awards, report cards, board meeting minutes ... anything would be welcomed.”

Area of district has a vibrant past

When considering sources to begin the society's book project, Golobish naturally turned first to Kenneth Williams, principal of what now is known as Mt. Pleasant Area Junior-Senior High School, she said.

“He was able to kind of point me in the right direction,” she said.

While the book will deal extensively with the creation of the district and the present-day school, a fair portion of it will also delve into the histories of Ramsay High School in the borough, Hurst High School in Norvelt and the many school houses throughout Mt. Pleasant and Donegal townships, Golobish said.

“The date they're looking for is 1907 on, and I have school board records going back that far,” said Chris Kantorik, corresponding secretary of the Chestnut Ridge Historical Society.

A map dated 1876 in Kantorik's possession displays 10, one-room schoolhouses interspersed throughout Mt. Pleasant Township, she said.

“I'm trying to find the history of all these schools and make a list for them,” said Kantorik, regarding the help she's giving local historical society.

“I think it's nice that they're doing this project, and I hope the community buys the book. Your grandfather, or even your great-grandfather might be in it. You never know,” she said.

Phyllis Newell, a Mt. Pleasant Area society researcher and a 1952 Ramsay High School graduate, recalled how students from the New Stanton area were bused in to attend the borough school the year of her commencement.

Such quirky facts will also ornament the upcoming book, Golobish said.

“There were a good many,” Newell said. “A reason why was they didn't have a commercial class teacher at Youngwood (high school).”

Today's district, which encompasses 105 square miles, is composed of five school buildings with a student enrollment of more than 2,500 in grades K-12, according the district's website, with a district staff of seven administrators, 165 teachers and 47 support staff members.

Foundation donates $1,000 for project

This week, the Mt. Pleasant Glass & Ethnic Festival Foundation donated $1,000 to the society for use in completing the project.

Each year, the foundation donates proceeds from the annual festival to an area non-profit organization of its choosing for a specific purpose, said Jeff Landy, borough manager and the foundation's co-chairman.

“They're doing that book, and they indicated they needed the money to do the book, so anytime you can put history in print or in the form that can be used year after year and in future years, that's something we felt good about supporting,” he said. “It will be a lasting historical document, so we felt it would be good to give our money toward that project.”

Golobish said the society will need to raise approximately $2,800 to complete the book. It will likely be printed by Gorham Printing of Centralia, Wa.

“That's going to cover a big chunk of the expense, so that's pretty exciting news. It's going to help us out a lot,” said Golobish in reference to the foundation's donation.

“We're going to have to come up with a way to come up with the remaining amount, but this will make it easier,” she added.

Rick Meason, the society's president, echoed Golobish's enthusiasm regarding the gift.

“I am very pleased and excited that the glass festival committee awarded us this grant,” he said. “It will go a long way in helping us with this project, and we're sincerely appreciative of their consideration. I was very happy to get that.”

Public's donations are sought

In addition to raising the remaining $1,800, the number of donated photos and other memorabilia will go a long way in making the book a success, Meason said.

In addition, donors who only wish to lend items can specify that.

“We are looking for photographs, stories, anything pertaining to Mt. Pleasant-area schools,” Meason said. “If anyone would like to submit anything we will make sure it is returned to them.”

Those interested in submitting photos or scanned documents for use in the book can email mpahistory@gmail.com. Hard copies of photos can be mailed to the Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society, 537 W. Main St.

A book title remains under consideration, Golobish said.

A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or apanian@tribweb.com.

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