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Generations of Bulls come together

caines | 5/16/2013, 5:30 a.m.

Principals of the 70s, teachers of the 80s, staff members of the 90s, students of present time and many other Bulls came together at the First Annual Retirement Luncheon at Miami Northwestern Senior High School on May 10. The generations discussed their love for the school and its past and present happenings. Its always good to come back, said Taja O. Elbert, a former clerk and 1989 graduate of the school. Northwestern has always had a rich tradition, where we leave, come back and give to our school. We have people who never graduated from Northwestern, but when they begin to teach at Northwestern, the bull spirit is in their heart. Steve Gallon, III, principal from 1998-2005, shared a table with George Koonce, Jr., who was principal from 1977-1987, and also Gallons principal. Koonce remembered that Gallon spearheaded a special presentation in honor of him at a commencement ceremony. It is important for people to know their tradition and from whence theyve come, Gallon, said. [The students] need to have a basic understanding of the struggles and sacrifices of those who came before them. Jevon Gardner, the student who carries the Mr. Miami Northwestern 2012-2013 title, said the event opened [his] eyes to see how Northwestern has grown over the years. Ida Cash, who worked as a guidance counselor at Northwestern from 1963-1970, said she enjoyed seeing the new Northwestern because she served at the former Miami Northwestern building. After working at Northwestern for about seven years, she was transferred to Hialeah Senior High School during a time when schools were desegregated. She said it was an honor to attend the event because it let former educators know that Northwestern is still here and still cares. I was always a bull at heart, Ildiko Matchus, the librarian, said. She had worked at Northwestern for 10 years before retiring. But it wasnt long after, that she returned to the school for her former position. She enjoyed attending the event. We have to remember the past, so we can safeguard the future, she said. She said it is important for students to know the people who played a major part in the schools history, such as Louie Bing, a science teacher and track and field coach from 1962-1981, who the present track and field is named after. Gallons administration named the track in his honor, according to Bing. It is important to encourage the young people to try to excel because at one time we were in their shoes, he said. He said that the older generations have experienced the same trials and tribulations and they are proof that you can overcome them. Mary Jo Batist daughter of the luncheons organizer, Johnnie Batist, and teacher at Lenora B. Smith Elementary said the event was special to her. Her mother worked at Northwestern for 40 years, and over the years she got to know many of the faculty and staff members well. She said they were like a family. I was born into this school, she said. Northwestern has a really rich history, the faculty were really close and seeing them together is really nice. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@Miamitimesonline.com