Havre de Grace has long been a prideful community full of people who love their hometown and its traditions.
Some spend their whole lives in this community. Others do not. Some move away, only to return with their young families, hoping to give them the great lives they remember from growing up in Havre de Grace. Some come back later in life. Others always want to but never quite make it.
They all remember their days at Havre de Grace High School and some of the many, many educators who touched their lives. Names like Walter Davis, who some advocated naming the school after. And other legends like Bill Taylor, Charlie Ballance, Michael Parker, Gladys Allison, Bob Rudolph, Bill Rogers, Don Osman, Mike Rupprecht and Rich Holly, those who either spent most of their careers in Havre de Grace, or made such an impact on this community’s teenagers so as to never be forgotten.
There is a seemingly endless list of teachers, and we mean no disrespect to those we didn’t mention by name, who have made Havre de Grace High School not only a great place to learn, but also to get the proper preparation for a life well-spent living up to the school’s motto: Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve.
No list of all-star Havre de Grace teachers would be complete without the recently retired Alex Spooner, who grew up here, spent his teaching career here and stayed in his home community. Nor could it ever be complete without the name of James R. Harris, best known as Jimmy Harris to his colleagues and his many friends in this community.
We bring this up because of the legacy he left, setting high standards for teaching, coaching and helping others. His easy smile was his way of welcoming folks and sharing his warm, special kind of friendship.
We mention this not because his friends thought so highly of him that they worked hard to build a beautiful stadium that carries his name. That’s a history well documented.
Instead, we mention it because in one of those wonderful pieces of serendipity his grandson, Clay Harris, who plays for the Warriors on the stadium field bearing the James R. Harris Stadium name. His story was beautifully told by Katherine Dunn on these pages last week.
Clay isn’t the only Jimmy Harris family connection to Havre de Grace High School. His son-in-law, Jimmy Reynolds, is principal. Other grandchildren have worn the maroon and white that Havre de Grace athletic programs of all ages and all sports proudly wear.
There are too many cases to count of Havre de Grace High School students following the path to graduation blazed by their parents, grandparents or even their great-grandparents.
This is as good a time as any to remind folks of the proud community that is Havre de Grace. And no one would be more proud than Jimmy Harris to see a grandson playing on that beautiful stadium on Juniata Street that bears his name.