Carverdale School alumni host historic reunion after 44 years

June 27, 2016

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Longtime Carverdale residents R.L. and Cora Johnson, who have worked tirelessly over the years to improve their community, took time to enjoy the historic celebration. The Johnsons first moved to the Carverdale community in 1959 and have been advocates for the area ever since. R.L. served as president of the Carverdale Civic Club beginning in 1973 and Cora representing her community in the early 1990s as a member of a citywide citizens participation group created by then-Mayor Kathy Whitmire.

June 27, 2016—It was an evening filled with joy, laughter and reminiscence as members of the Carverdale community reunited for the first time after 44 years for A Night to Remember at Sterling Banquet Hall on June 17.

“This memorable event will forever remain in the hearts and minds of all who attended. It was such an awesome experience to watch the excitement and fellowship as former students embraced and shared fond memories,” said Lester Whiteing Jr., community involvement coordinator for the City of Houston’s Housing and Community Development department and a Jersey Village High School graduate who was raised in the Carverdale community.

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Carverdale alumni from all graduating classes reunite on June 17 after more than 40 years during the historic Carverdale Reunion at Sterling Banquet Hall.

The All Classes School Reunion was hosted by the Class of 1968 alumni and spearheaded by a nine-member committee including the event’s program manager Robert Bradshaw who opened the evening with a welcome and introduction to the evening’s activities.  

 “Our reunion team is composed of committed members from our Class of ’68 who have remained in contact since our high school years. The success of [this event] can be attributed to teamwork and the ability to recognize and appreciate each member's skill sets.”

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Members of the Carverdale Reunion committee from the Class of 1968 are (L-R): Robert Bradshaw, Bessie Steward, Deborah Jenkins, Sherron Roberts, Relinda Grant, Eleanor Goines, Winston Stein and Jesse Mitchell III.

Members of the committee who met and held conference calls frequently throughout the past year in preparation for the historic event include: Bessie Steward; Deborah Jenkins; Eleanor Goines; Jesse Mitchell III; Relinda Grant; Sam Robert Johnson Jr.; Sherron Roberts; and Winston Stein.

“Our committee came to an early realization from past events we have sponsored to understand that there is indeed no "I" in team and that working together allows us to succeed; and we believe we can accomplish whatever it is we desire, by working together.”

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Gospel recording artist and Texas Gospel Music Awards’ Female Vocalist of the Year Angela Alfred Richards engages the audience with a gospel original during the Carverdale Reunion on June 17. Richards is a CFISD retiree who gave 22 years of service working with special needs students.

This is exactly how Carverdale’s All Classes School Reunion “Celebrating 44 Years of Academic Excellence” came to fruition. With the hard work and careful planning by the committee, attendees experienced a memorable evening featuring: entertainment from gospel recording artist and CFISD retiree Angela Alfred Richards; a savory chicken and steak dinner; Carverdale trivia; numerous door prizes; and an open dance floor to close out the night. However, even more purposeful in the committee’s planning was the tribute to Carverdale history made by former staff members and alumni as well as special recognitions and presentations.

On behalf of the Mayor’s Office, Whiteing presented a Proclamation declaring June 17, 2016 as Carverdale Senior High School 44th Anniversary Reunion Day. Additionally, a flag was flown over the U.S. Capitol on June 15 in honor of the Carverdale Reunion—the flag was presented to coach Tom Johnson as a tribute for his outstanding contributions in athletics and academics at Carverdale.

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Class of 1970 graduates Anthony Murrell and Anthony Howard fold the flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol on June 15 in honor of the Carverdale Reunion. The flag was presented to Coach Tom Johnson for his outstanding contribution in athletics and academics at Carverdale.

Whiteing also presented Certificates of Congressional Recognition from U.S. House Representatives Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee to the reunion committee, Carverdale alumni, and Greater Macedonia Baptist Church for hosting a continued Carverdale celebration on June 19.

In addition to the recognitions, the display of joy and laughter as well as the stories that were shared by Carverdale alumni attested to the unity of one community that overcame obstacles and leaving a legacy of love and strength. In closing to represent this legacy, alumni sang the school's Alma Mater, "Firm may she ever stand; through storm and rain ..." and "May our love cling with thee ..."

According to Whiteing, the entire event was monumental.

“I tip my hat off to the Class of 1968 for spearheading this unforgettable evening of precious memories,” Whiteing said.

See Carverdale Reunion photo album.

Learn more about the History of Carverdale.

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