Pinkerton Proclaims Year of Celebration for 200th Anniversary

Ann West came to Pinkerton Academy as a young English teacher with two other schools under her belt. “I was going to stay two years,” she recalled.
That was in 1955.

West made a career at the school, and stayed on after her retirement to coach drama. She and other members of the Pinkerton community gathered Thursday night, Dec. 19, to celebrate what the school has meant to them and to Southern New Hampshire, at the official launch of its 200th Anniversary Celebration.
The reception and signing took place in the Academy Building, now the home of the school’s public relations and alumni services. Members of the Board of Trustees, former Trustees, and members of the Alumni Association milled about the meeting room along with their families. West and Headmaster Mary Anderson, co-chairs of the 200th, chatted with constituents and discussed their plans.
Why has the school endured so long? West had a ready answer. “Because its first goal is the education of children, but it goes beyond that to the person,” she said. “We emphasize respect and responsibility. It’s a concern for the whole student.”
West added, “We never want to let the standards go.”
Students attending the reception included Ariana Moran, National Honor Society (NHS) president, and Kinsey Manchester, NHS vice-president; Kasey Mize, Student Council president, and Meredith Haney, Council vice-president; and Lauren Batchelder, student representative to the Alumni Board.
Mize said she was “a little overwhelmed” at such an historic occasion, but added, “It’s cool to be able to witness the signing of the proclamation. The 200th anniversary will be an awesome experience.” And as a senior, she’s got six months to enjoy it, she added.
Wally Ramsden, “Telly” Wells and Bob Morrison often appear together, leading Anderson to dub them the “Three Amigos,” Ramsden said. All graduates of the Class of 1953, they are also past presidents of the Alumni Association and members of the Pinkerton Hall of Fame.
Ramsden said he’s amazed at the progress not just over 200 years, but over the 60 since he graduated. The expansion of the campus impresses him, not only in size, but in the way it was accomplished. “You would almost think all the buildings had always been here,” he said.
“The education here is terrific, and the youngsters have tremendous opportunities,” he added. “It prepares them very well for life. All my children went here, and they’ve done extremely well – they were prepared.”
At the tap of a gavel, people moved closer to a desk in the meeting room, and Harry Burnham, chairman of the Board of Trustees, opened the meeting. “What better way to celebrate,” he asked, “than in our first building?” Two centuries ago, people came together to form an institution to teach about the community, commerce and country, Burnham said.
“Have we survived? No – we’ve prospered,” he said, pointing to 330 class choices, state-of-the-art equipment, and facilities that are “second to none.”
“Let the next 200 years be fruitful,” Burnham said.
Trustee secretary Virginia Clark read the proclamation, celebrating “200 years of excellence” and proclaiming a Year of Celebration to include the entire Pinkerton community.
“We will continue to provide a complete educational experience to all who pass through these halls of learning,” she said.
Burnham was the first to sign the proclamation, followed by the Board of Trustees.

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