Monday, September 03, 2001

Campbell High reuniting grads

By Lori Hayes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ALEXANDRIA — Campbell County High School is searching for graduates. The 1,500-student high school is forming its first alumni association, working to recruit some of the more than 12,000 students who have graduated from the school in the past 50 years.

        The alumni association would organize fund-raisers and alumni activities, in addition to recruiting volunteers for the school.

        “That certainly would help generate more positive feelings, input and action and help generate some pride in the school,” said Chris Gramke, the district's community relations director, who is spearheading the project.

        The association's kickoff will be mid-October at the high school at U.S. 27 and Lickert Road. The school is inviting alumni to attend the school's fall open house.

        “Many alumni have not even seen the new high school,” Mr. Gramke said. A new high school was built six years ago, replacing the building at 8000 Alexandria Pike that is now the district's middle school.

        Campbell County recently completed an alumni directory, contacting nearly 8,000 graduates from 1948 to now. A group of about a half-dozen alumni are working to set up the association's charter and form committees, and have plans to drive a car in the high school's homecoming parade to get the word out.

        “There are a lot of people who would like to meet some of their old classmates and renew acquaintances, but how do you get a hold of

        people?” said Charlie Valz, a financial consultant with A.G. Edwards & Sons in Cincinnati and a 1965 Campbell County graduate who is helping to organize the association. “This would make a stronger community.”

        The alumni association, which does not have membership dues, is a precursor to starting an education foundation to support the district.

        The district hopes to launch the foundation at the start of next school year. As a private, nonprofit fund-raising organization, a foundation can help generate business and community support, Mr. Gramke said.

        Of Northern Kentucky's Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties, Campbell has the fewest number of businesses. Yet the county has the most school districts of any county in the state, with seven vying for the same local dollars and business support.

        “The ability to bring in outside dollars, particularly in a public school where you're funded by the state and local taxes, is enhanced by having a foundation,” Mr. Gramke said.

        Several other Northern Kentucky schools have foundations, including Beechwood, Covington, Fort Thomas and Boone County.


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