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Group hopes to preserve Summer Hill legacy
by Monica Burge
June 19, 2012 02:41 PM | 754 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Before integration, black students in Bartow County looked to Summer Hill for their education.

Many who attended said their experiences in those classrooms not only made them better students, but better human beings.

The home of the Blue Devils was a close knit community and its students, teachers and administrators all share a piece of this local institution now that the school is no more.

Elmer Felton said she can recall her years at the school as a time when students and teachers were more like family and the community of Summer Hill as a whole shared in the responsibility of educating its youth.

“I had a good education from Summer Hill,” said Felton as she stands outside the Summer Hill Complex last week.

Behind her stands a bronze statue of one of the school’s leaders, former principal James Morgan Sr. with his wife.

Felton said it was leaders like Morgan who helped instill a sense of pride in the students of Summer Hill and inspired them.

“I knew that they cared about me and it wasn’t just a job for them,” Felton said. “I think that was the key to our success. That education gave you a foundation and a background. Time was taken to build your character along with your education.”

Joy Hill is too young to have studied at Summer Hill but she vividly recalls the stories her father, legendary coach Matthew Hill, told of the school.

“The community of Summer Hill was a capsule of love, leadership and foundation,” Hill said. “You didn’t just graduate, you learned.”

It’s the legacy of Summer Hill that connects Felton and Hill even though they are years apart.

Connecting generations is what an upcoming membership drive for the Summer Hill Heritage Group is all about, Hill said.

“We wanted to take some time to bring more people into the alumni membership,” Hill said. “We’re attempting to bridge the gap between alumni and the new generation. We want to incorporate young people so they can ask questions now and carry on the history.”

The membership drive, Legacy of Summer Hill, will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Summer Hill Complex.

The benefits of membership with the Summer Hill Heritage Group a year’s membership, quarterly newsletter, access to decision making processes, a membership card and more.

At the drive there will be live entertainment featuring Destiny Revealed band and a fashion show by the Curve Appeal Boutique of Cartersville.

Vendors also will be on hand selling official Summer Hill Blue Devil paraphernalia.

“It’s going to be a great occasion,” Felton said.

Information: (770) 873-3146
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