BY SUE KIESEWETTER
MIDDLETOWN -- Its graduates have become professional singers, NFL players, politicians, entrepreneurs and even the first female instructor at The Citadel.
On Tuesday, 18 of Middletown High School's graduates will return to their alma mater to be honored for their accomplishments during 9:30 a.m. dedication ceremonies of the Halls of Fame.
Sponsored by Middletown High School Student Government, a team of 20 students and community members spent hours reviewing more than 100 nominations of graduates for whom the school's hallways will be named for the next four years. The signs were erected over spring break.
"We didn't realize Middletown had so many successful graduates," said senior Caroline Schunk, student government's treasurer. "You always think your town is boring."
The honorees are representative of the accomplishments of Middletown's graduates, said committee member David Pearce. "It's rewarding to see it implemented," he said. "It's an unselfish legacy these students have initiated. It's a testimony to all the Middies out there."
Erecting the signs will give students a sense a pride about their community, said senior Kristy McClish, student government president. "This will help our school spirit," Kristy said. "It shows if you do try, you can succeed."
"The students learned that you don't graduate and disappear," added Assistant Principal Dennis Newell. "In a larger sense this project is for our community. Our graduates and the community are willing to share their expertise if asked."
Dorothy McGuire, of the singing McGuire Sisters, said she was surprised when told of her nomination and selection. Her memories of growing up as a Middie are typical of today's students.
"I played tenor sax in the band, freezing at football games," Ms. McGuire said. "My dad was an ordained minister and worked at Armco. My sisters and I hung out with our friends."
The singing sisters performed mostly at church, funerals, weddings, LeSourdsville Park and local night spots.
"I was really thrilled, honored and shocked to be selected," said Ms. McGuire, who will attend Tuesday's ceremonies.
Most of the inductees will return to the school Tuesday for the program, said teacher Dave Long, the group's adviser.
"This project bridges the generation gap and even makes older people feel welcome," said committee member Rick Nein.