‘Passion’ drives Clarke’s endeavor

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Central High School will celebrate its 50th anniversary on May 20 with an event named after a past student newspaper, Down Central’s Corridors — one that will include guided tours of the school, exhibits, photographs, school uniforms and vintage attire.

“I wanted to do something as part of the senior project,” said Jonathan Clarke, the high school senior responsible for spearheading the event. “It kind of worked out to do something like this, that way, if not a lot of people have class reunions, you know if there’s small interest … you can come by and visit and look at annuals and see how the school has changed,” Clarke said. “I think it will be a great opportunity for alumni.”

Clarke said while the deadline for items to be submitted is Monday, it’s possible it will be pushed back until May.

Clarke said he takes part in several events throughout

the year in the community, including decorating store window displays for Small Town Christmas.

“I’m also very active in Victoria High School’s Preservation Foundation and we have their alumni reunion coming up in two weeks, so we’re getting ready for that,” Clarke said.

“Having the opportunity to do that and do something like this to get the community involved in it and have people reflect on their time at (the school) and have them reflect what it meant to them over the decades, you can’t really get that through a textbook,” Clarke said. “I really am glad for the opportunity to do that.”

When asked what being in high school meant to him, he said he was scared to leave middle school, noting the high school had a uniqueness, noting that a lot of teachers there were former students.

“I think now being the 50th class and having the opportunity to see where we started to where we are today, I think that’s the best,” Clarke said. “It really has made my senior year really enjoyable because I really love anything old and antique.”

Following graduation, Clarke said he’s looking to attend University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg because of their historic preservation major and minor in museum studies.

“I kind of was tossing it back and forth, and I needed a wakeup call and said ‘The child who has lived in antique stores since he was (5-years-old) and is a board member on the preservation foundation, I really think that’s what I need to go to college for,’” Clarke said, noting how much he likes antique stores.

Clarke said growing up, others who enjoyed where they lived shared history with him, making a big impact on who he is now.

“I think that has influenced me to be where I am today and the interest and, you know, the passion that I have for restoring things and finding their story and putting them on display for people to see and treasure,” Clarke said.

To offer items to showcase for the 50th anniversary, email Clarke at jonathan.clarke@k12lcps.org to arrange for pick-up. Items can also be mailed to Clarke’s attention at Central High School, 131 KV Road, Victoria, VA 23974.  
Those with questions should call the school at (434) 696-2137.