GA-JCTS Newsletter


The newsletter of the Gilmore Academy-Jackson County Training School Alumni Association, Inc.


Vol. 1 No. 3

May 1997


Roy L Roulhac, Editor




1998 GA-JCTS ALL School Reunion Plans Set


Mark your calendars and plan to attend the 1998 GA-JCTS Alumni Association's All-School Reunion, July 2-5,  1998, in

Marianna The tentative schedule includes:

Thursday, July 2, 1998

3 pm Registration - McLane Community Center


6 pm Reception - McLane Community Center


Friday, July 3, 1998

9:30 am Spelling Bees St Luke Baptist Church


1 pm Oratorical Contest -St James AME Church Afternoon - Class Meetings


6 pm Banquet/Class Elections National Guard Armory


Saturday, July 4, 1998

10 am  GA-JCTS Alumni Association, Inc., Annual Meeting

Mt Olive Baptist Church


12 noon Picnic - Sunland Industrial Park


8 pm  Talent Show - Marianna High School


Sunday, July 5

11 AM  Worship Service

2nd W. FL. Missionary Baptist Church Facility -Pennsylvania Avenue



On Sunday, July 21, 1997, the GA-JCTS Alumni Association, Inc., held its first annual meeting at St. Luke Baptist Church, 524 Orange Street, Marianna. The interim officers and board of directors listed on the masthead were elected.


The 1996 Reunion Steering Committee - Mattie Fagan Berrien, Linda Darby Jones, Roymonia Paramore Robinson, Elmer Roger Clay, Gina Darby Highsmith, Barbara Thompson Johnson, Verna' Black Mack, and Gwen Inez Swilley Summer - agreed to coordinate the 1998 All School Reunion. Volunteer to serve on a planning committee by calling (904) 526-4714.


The treasurer reported that seventy-five (75) GA-JCTS alumni became  incorporators by paying dues by January 15,1997, and as of July 21,1997, twenty-six (26) GA-JCTS alumni had become charter members. The cut-off point for charter membership was  extended from December, 1997 to July, 1998. As initial projects, it was agreed that the Association would initiate campaigns to.' (J)  rename Marianna Middle School to the Robert T. Gilmore Middle School,  and,  (2) seek designation of the original location of Gilmore Academy as a state historic site and erect a historic marker. By-laws will be adopted, officers and a board of directors elected, and Association priorities established during the ~998 annual meeting.


Attending the 1997 annual meeting were: Danny Sylvester, '71; Willie L. Cooper, '44; Plassie Neal, '44; Queen B. Brown, '44; Christine Clemmons, '51; Linda Darby Jones, '66; Bernice Robinson, '43; Eva Simpson, '43; Dorothy Adams Harley, '63; lola

Rivers Bell, '53; Barbara Dixon, '53; Eddie M. Everett, '51; Edna Purdee Truitt, '67; Hattie MeCollough, '49; Lillie B. Robinson, '53; Marilyn Long,'63; Elease Philyor Wynn, '61; Gwen Inez Swilley, '47; all of Marianna. Thomas Crawford, Poughkeepsie NY, '54; Roy L. Roulhac, '61, Detroit MI; Mary Wadsworth White, '55, Dallas TX; Venia'  Black Mack, '74 and Billie Mack, '69, Tallahassee



GA-JCTS Web Site

The GA-JCTS Web page is under construction at:

Anyone interested in helping to develop the Site should contact the editor.



Spelling Bee

The GA-JCTS Alumni Association Inc., announces its first national spelling bees. The spelling bees, designed to promote literacy and scholarship, will be held 1 p.m. Friday July 2, 1998, at St Luke Baptist Church. The spelling bees are open to students who were in the following grades during the 1997-98 school year:


(A) 3rd, 4th and 5th grades (B) 6th, 7th or 8th grades


The top three spellers will be awarded cash scholarships as follows: 1st Place - $150; 2nd Place - $100; and 3rd Place -$50.



Do You Remember

By William (Poupe) E. Long, Jr.


I was in the 7th grade when I left Jackson County Training School to attend Marianna High School. But when I left JCTS, I carried the memories with me.


Do you remember those good old times we used to have at Jackson County Training School?


Remember  the  May  Day Celebration and students slipping off to River's Inn?


Remember the good times we shared at the football games at the Boys School? Remember the good players we had ... Bruton, John Hooks, Elmer Roulhac, J.C. Wynn, Big Red from Sneads, Norman Thomas, Bernard Cooper, Jonathan Robinson, just to name a few?


Remember the times we had the gym  rocking  while  playing basketball ... Gary Robinson, Wilburt Butler, Thomas Stephens, Willie Burke, Howard Jones, Chalmers Wilson, and many more too numerous to name here?


Remember the cheerleaders?


Remember the "sock socials" that 'were  held  at  the  McLane Community Center where we came together to celebrate a victory of any kind?

-  Remember the marching band under the direction of Mr. Miller; and then Mr. Sweeney? I can see them marching  down  Orange  Street during  our homecoming parade.


Remember -the aroma from the c6oking that was

· being done in the Home Economics department when Mrs. Reba Long was teaching?


Remember Principal Harley urging us to move on

down the halls to get to class?


I remember many people that have long since left the area. How many of your classmates are you still in contact with? How about letting them know about the GA4CTS Alumni Association.


This Association can become as large and productive

as we make it. How about contacting at least two

people and have them join our group.


Remember the friends we made from Cottondale, Sneads, Jerusalem, Mt. Olive, Pope Chapel, Grand Ridge and other small surrounding areas?


Memories, what a wonderful thing to have!!!



Choir Members Needed

Former members of glee club, church choirs, quartets, etc. are needed for a mass choir during the GA-JCTS Sunday worship service.


Come to Me

Come, grab hold, as we delve into the twisted corridors of this tortured soul.

Come close as we spin a tale of grief and woe, one that takes you to places that you never ever wanted to go.

Come on over and feed the raging fire as we wallow in the ceaseless desire.

Come to me and you will see all that is but should not be.

Come for the pleasure, forgetting pain; loving the lust but hiding the shame.

Come into my world if you dare, but once you are inside be sure to proceed with care.

Come on in where for every win there must be a loss and where everyone will eventually pay the cost.

Coming in first, while finishing dead last as we run to the future hoping to hide from our past.

Come, sweet tender one, come to me, sample all my fruits but please realize that nothing is free

Come with me as we fight through this mess and try to find an end to this long winding road of loneliness.

Come tome during the cold stillness of the night and fill me with your warmth and precious light.

Come now, reach deeper insider, so that you may explore each and every little thing that I have tried to hide.

Come and we will fall so deeply in love and hopefully find the sweet hand to fit this lonely glove.

By Ronald L McGriff



Jackson County History

l. Why did the Florida legislature pass a law in 1858 allowing free blacks who wished to become slaves to choose their own masters?


2. The first school for blacks in Marianna was started in 1865 by _________ and ________, two Union soldiers.


3. On April 30, 1867, Elijah Williams, a former Jackson County slave, was granted a patent by the U.S. Patent Office for his invention of a __________ for use in shallow water such as the Apalachicola River.



President's Message

The support expressed during the 1996 all-school reunion to establish a Gilmore Academy-Jackson County Training School Alumni Association has resulted in fmancial commitments by 111 alumni as of September 25, 1997. The Association was incorporated as a Michigan non-profit organization on April 3, 1997.


Internal Revenue Service regulations provide that alumni associations may quality for exemption from federal income tax as a 501(c)(3) organization if it is organized to promote the welfare of a school with which it is affiliated, is subject to the control of the school regarding its policies and destination of funds, and is operated as an integral part of the school. Since neither school exists, it is impossible for the Association to meet this specific test.


The Association may, however, qualify as a 501 (c)(3) organization rather that as a 501 (c)(7) social club organized for pleasure, recreation, and other similar non-~profitable purposes, if it is organized and operated exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, scientific, or literary purposes.


During the 1998 reunion, the Association's mission will be defined. Your input is essential, I believe that we can call forth out innate genius, talents, gifts and abilities to make the Association a viable organization which stimulates a love of learning, personal growth, and community development and empowerment.


I am excited about the possibilities. Together we can make a difference.



Essay/Oratorical Contest

The GA-JCTS Alumni Association, Inc., announces its first Essay and Oratorical contests. The contests, designed to encourage and promote oral and written communication, are open to students who were in grades 7 through 12 during the 1997-98 school year. Students may enter the essay or the oratorical contest.


Students may enter the essay contest by  writing a 300-word essay on the following topic:


Framing The Past -

Visualizing The Future


Each essay should be typed or neatly written and include a cover page  with  the  following information: name, age, grade during the 1997-98 school year and address. No identifying information should be placed on the essay. The top two essay contest winners will receive scholarship awards of $150 and $100, respectively. Essays must be postmarked by Friday May 1, 1998, and sent to:


Saran Pender

GA-JCTS Alumni Ass'n

2838 Pennsylvania Ave, Marianna FL 32448


The topic for the oratorical contest is:

contributions My Generation Can Make In the 21st Century


Students entering the oratorical contest  should  prepare   a presentation on the above topic which is not less than 5 minutes and not more than 7 minutes long. The top two oratorical contest winners will receive scholarship awards of $200 and $150, respectively.




GA-JCTS memorabilia - photos of students, teachers, staff; buildings, newsletters, year books, trophies, awards, scrap books, etc., for a video project. Bring items to 1998 reunion. Create a display of GA­JCTS memorabilia. Share.



Membership Report

Membership  in  the GA-JCTS Alumni Association, Inc., is open to all former staff and students of Gilmore Academy or J( of September 25, 1997, one-hundred eleven alumni had joined the Association. The ASS was incorporated as a Michigan no corporation in April 1997.




John J Batson ('55)                          St Petersburg FL

lola Bell ('53)                               Marianna FL

Shepard Bell ('58)                        Marianna FL

Mattie Berrian ('64)                           Miami FL

Georgia Bowen ('62)                 Tallahassee FL

Tereather Boykin ('50)                   Lakeland FL

James Caidwell ('63)'                  Spanaway WA

Elmer R Clay ('61)                       Marianna FL

Beatrice Cobb ('62)                           Miami FL

Eloise Cotman('51)                        Irvington NJ

Thomas Crawford ('54)          Poughkeepsie NY

Valaria Davi~~70)                       Marianna FL

Benjamin Dickins ('58)                  Brandon FL

Amos DicksOn ('64)                 Rockingham NC

Annuel Franklin ('66)                  Graceville FL

Moses Freeman('53)                      Brandon FL

Annie Gibson ('41)                       Marianna FL

EIuise Gordon ('69)                   Tallahassee FL

Sam Graham ('51)                     Fairhaven MA

Dorothy Harley ('63)                    Marianna FL

Irma Hawkins ('47)                    Tallahassee FL

Lucy Hawthorne('56)                    Marianna FL

Dan Hester ('59)                         Hempstead NY

Gina Highsmith ('75)                   Marianna FL

Erma Hines                                     Palatka FL

Lavern Holloman ('65)                 Plant City FL

Voncile Jackson('56)                    Huntsville AL

Arthur Johnson ('64)                Spring Lake NC

Barbara Johnson ('62)                 Marianna FL

King David Jones ('59)             Jacksonville FL

Linda Jones ('66)                         Marianna FL

Priscilla Keith ('64)                       Lakeland FL

Calvin Killings ('72)              W Palm Beach FL

Quetta Latimer ('65)                 Huntington NY,

Betty Lattimore ('59)                          Miami FL

William Long Jr ('71)                 Tallahassee FL

Billie Mack ('69)                        Tallahassee FL

Mary Mack ('60)                      Panama City FL

Verna' Mack ('74)                      Tallahassee FL

Sheryl J McGriff ('78)                        Detroit MI

Willie H Morris ('53)                   Opa Locka FL

Sarah Pender ('57)                       Marianna FL

Mildred Pittman ('46)                Lakes Wales FL

Dorothy Prather ('42)           Gaithersburg  MD

Roberta Pressley ('32)                  Marianna FL

Arskso Raines ('58)                      Plainsfield NJ

Mary Reeves ('58)                      Tallahassee FL

Connie Richardson ('65)            Tallahassee FL

Billie Robinson ('52)                        Albany GA

Gussie Robinson ('42)           Silver Springs MD

Roymonia Robinson ('75)            Marianna FL

Idell Robinson ('54)                           Miami FL

Roy L Roulhac ('61)                                      Detroit MI

Ruby Roulhac ('58)                               East Orange NJ

Clarence Sikes ('66)                               Tallahassee FL

Arthur Spears ('59)                      Colorado Springs CO

Nelson Speights ('52)                                     Ettrick VA

Waymon Speight ('59)                                Freeport NY

Benjamin Stephens ('47)                            Brooklyn NY

Chrystelle Stewart ('43)                        St Petersburg FL

Sylvia Stroman ('75)                                      Miami FL

Gwen I Summers ('47)                              Marianna FL

Dianne Thornton ('65)                     Ft Washington MD

Meredith Washington ('53)                           Chicago IL

Victoria Watts ('6Z                                 East Orange NY

Cottee White ('58)                                         Denver CO

Earl white ('51)                                         Marianna FL

Juan White                                            Washington DC

   White                                                           Miami FL

Mary White ('55)                                            Dallas TX

Sheldon white                                        Washington DC

Martha Williams ('41)                               Marianna FL

Marcellus Wynn ('54)                                   Hopkins SC

Sylvia Yon ('60)                                      Cottondale FL

Annie Young ('51)                                  Tallahassee FL


Charter Members

Maggie Atwater ('31)                                Marianna FL

Catherine Barkley ('51)                             Marianna FL

Lula Bell ('63)                                          Marianna FL

Shirley Bronson ('54)                                Marianna FL

Qz'een Brown ('44)                                   Marianna FL

Elmore Bryant (53)                                  Marianna FL

Eulice Bryant ('53)                                   Marianna FL

Christine Clemmons ('51)                         Marianna FL

Walter Cooper ('63)                             Scotch Plains NJ

Vivian Darby ('49)                                    Marianna FL

Arthur Edwards ('66)                                       Mims FL

Arnita Everett ('57)                                    Knoxville TN

Joseph Fagan ('47)                                  Marianna FL

Lula Gioson ('56)                                       Irvington NJ

Gwen Godwin ('49)                                   Mt Holley NJ

Frank Graham ('48)                                     Tampa FL

Dorothy Hall ('62)                                    Marianna FL

Morris HarrisQn (62)                                    Tampa FL

Naomi Harrison (61)                                  Orlando FL

Mitchell Haves ('47)                                   Brooklyn NY

Richard Holland ('68)                        Riviera Beach FL

Marilyn Long ('63)                                   Marianna FL

Addie Mack (66)                                        Knoxville TN

Hattie McCoullough ('49)                         Marianna FL

Elizabeth McElveen (49)                  Ft Washington MD

Sam Pittman ('46)                                    Marianna FL

Curley Potter ('63)                                          Bronx NY

Julius Porter ('66)                                       Houston TX

Carolyn Reed ('72)                                   Marianna FL

Amos Robinson (62)                                 Marianna FL

Bernice Robinson ('43)                             Marianna FL

Johnnie Robinson ('53)                      Ft Lauderdale FL

Eva Simpson ('43)                                    Marianna FL

William Smith ('63)                               East Orange NJ

Irma Thomas ('64)                                Jacksonville FL

Vera B. Westbrook ('69)                         Jacksonville FL