Former teachers and students from Towsontown Junior High School are taking a mournful stroll down memory lane, as the destruction of the school's building on York Road continues.
"Towsontown was unlike any other school I have ever seen," said Mike DeVita, of Glendale, who taught English and drama at the school for eight years when it opened in 1958. "Everyone loved it. The faculty was totally dedicated, and they enjoyed being with each other. There was an amazing creative energy provided by the staff and students."
DeVita, who had a stage in his classroom, also directed the school productions, including "Sound of Music" and "L'il Abner."
"The cafeteria was entirely transformed with a stage built in the center. The shows were highly rated."
After spending four years at Cockeysville Junior/Senior High, DeVita returned to Towsontown in 1971, where he remained for another eight years before the school closed in 1979.
"When the school was ready to close, we fought to keep it, and that means the parents as well," said DeVita.
On two separate occasions, DeVita and other faculty members took students to Europe.
John Jones, now of Woodstock, Ga., was a student on the second memorable trip to Europe.
"We got to experience London and a presentation of "Canterbury Tales", ride through the Black Forest of Germany, enjoy a fondue dinner in Lucerne, ride in a gondola in Venice, walk the Forum in Rome, swim in the Mediterranean at Nice and walk the streets of Paris," said Jones.
"These teachers gave us all an experience of a lifetime. They were always looking for those kinds of experiences in the school as well. One-act plays and hands-on science experiments were a few of the doorways to a learning experience that stays in our minds," said Jones.
The old school, which originally opened in 1939 for African American students, was named the George Washington Carver High School. In 1993, after going through several incarnations, it was converted to the Carver Center for Arts & Technology.
The building is being torn down for a parking lot and activity fields for the new adjacent Carver Center, which opened in 2012.
The Towson High School Sports Boosters is holding its Annual Spring Gala, April 5, at the Country Club of Maryland. Ticket prices are $65 per person or $125 per couple and can be purchased online at http://www.towsonhighsportsboosters.com. Price includes a buffet dinner, wine and beer; attendees can also participate in a silent auction. For questions about tickets, contact Tracy Amos at firstname.lastname@example.org; for general information, contact Jenny Schneidereith (email@example.com) or Kelly Chesser (firstname.lastname@example.org).