Glenda Ritz to new Central High students: Reading is a must

First day of Muncie IN schools goes perfectly

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - Hundreds of Muncie high school students jammed the hallways of Central High Wednesday morning looking for lockers, classrooms and schedules.

The milestone was nearly 1,800 students in one building that had not been seen in the community for 50 years.

Mayor Dennis Tyler mentioned how he could not see the difference between Central and South students, much like his own family a half century ago when he attended Central and his brothers went to South.

That One Muncie theme was heard throughout a convocation Wednesday morning led by Central Principal Tom Jarvis, who was joined by Tyler, Glenda Ritz, state superintendent of public instruction and Muncie Schools Sup. Tim Heller.

Ritz, who was given a Central Bearcat letter jacket, talked about the importance reading and being self inspired in what students do.

"Reading will never go out of style," said Ritz, a teacher for 34 years.

Tyler emphasized to juniors and seniors that they were the future of Muncie.

"When you succeed, Muncie succeeds," he said.

And Central already succeeded with the Spirit of Muncie marching band winning the Indiana State Fair band contest. Band director Jeremiah Bowman along with concert band director Clay Arnett and color guard director Rhonda Reynolds were on hand with the band trophy for photos with Ritz and others.

Heller also dwelled on excellence in academics as well as athletics, hoping for some more wins throughout the school year.

"I hate to lose to county schools," said Heller, a champion of urban public schools.

And some Central alumni believe that history could repeat itself like the last time Muncie closed a high school.

In 1988, Northside closed and Central won its last state basketball championship know as eight in eighty eight for that storied history at the Muncie Fieldhouse.

Jarvis reported this week that 104 new students enrolled at Central besides those from the two high schools. And he reported the football season begins next week when Central plays Pendlton Heights at home.

Tony Costello, president of the Muncie Community School Board, called the first class at Central pioneers and setting the standard for all that follow. After leading the consolidation effort, Costello, a retired college professor, said he would not seek re-election to the school board.

The school consolidation took months to plan with more than 500 people and over 20 committees.

Jarvis reported a smooth transition Wednesday as the convocation  led by local media celebrity Steve Lindell was more like a pep rally.

And the monument out front reflected Central's history with mention of both South and North.



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