Gainesville High School will welcome alumni to all-school reunion Saturday

Rob Collins of D&D Signs shows the bright welcome sign his company finished Monday that will greet Gainesville High School graduates to the All-School Reunion Saturday.

At the GHS All-School Reunion, the GHS Alumni Association will sell prints of this picture of the old Gainesville School that was painted by the late James Burkhart. Proceeds of the print sales will support the association’s scholarship fund. The prints are $30 each.

The Gainesville All-School Reunion will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday at the high school. After months of phone calls, invitation mailing and social media posts, reunion chairperson Paula Herd Rose says the planning committee is finalizing last-minute details this week to insure the day is a special one for GHS alumni and other guests. 

Rose emphasized that the reunion is not just for GHS graduates but also for faculty and staff members and anyone who attended the school at any time. “And of course, everyone’s welcome to bring their family,” she said.

About 200 people have pre-registered for the reunion, but Rose said registration may also be completed from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the school. “Just because you didn’t pre-register, don’t let that stop you from coming,” she said. 

Due to ongoing construction projects, attendees will enter the school through the junior high doorway toward the east end of the front of the building. Signs will direct attendees to that entryway, which will allow for greater social distancing as alumni arrive and move into the gymnasium to register and to pick up name tags and reunion materials, including a map of the building showing the location of restrooms, the hospitality room and cafeteria. Hand sanitizer and masks will be available, Rose said. Classrooms will be assigned to specific years’ graduates as a place where old friends may visit and share memories and updates. Attendees are encouraged to bring photos, yearbooks and other school memorabilia for viewing.

 The 20 to 25 members of the planning committee mailed invitations to graduates in the classes of 1939 through 1989, Rose said, and it relied on social media and word of mouth to reach the more recent graduates in classes from 1990 to the present day. 

Current FFA members will shuttle guests who need a lift from the parking area to the door.  

Rose noted that, unlike in the days when many of the older graduates attended school here, the entire building is now air conditioned. And new bleachers are being installed in the gym, providing easier access than the original 1963 bleachers, which were removed during the summer.

The all-school reunion is open to anyone who attended classes at GHS as well as former teachers, administrators, school staff or who is or was affiliated with the school in any way.

Refreshments will be served until 1 p.m. in the hospitality room.  A small selection of old yearbooks will be available for purchase, mostly from later years, Rose said. Also, the GHS Alumni Association will sell prints of the James Burkhart painting of the old Gainesville School for $30 as a fundraiser for the group’s annual scholarship fund. The group gives a scholarship each year to a graduating GHS senior. 

Current FBLA members will serve lunch in the cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The deadline for pre-ordering and paying for lunch was Aug. 15, but a few extra meals are available for those who want to purchase them on Saturday. The menu includes pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad, dessert and a drink.

The program, to be held at 1 p.m. in the gym, will include recognition of teachers and staff attending as well as the graduate who has come the farthest, the youngest and oldest graduates present, and the three graduates to be honored with the “Outstanding Alumni Award.” Musical entertainment will be provided by Kim Lamar Sullivan and by Kris Gillespie Ledbetter and April Ogden Britt. 

For more information about the reunion, contact Rose at 417-989-1282 or 

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423