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105 year old graduate highlights Gassaway HS Alumni Banquet

Gassaway High School’s oldest known alumni was the honored guest of this year’s Gassaway High School’s Alumni Banquet held Saturday, July 1 at the Flatwoods Day Hotel and Conference Center.

During the program portion of the banquet, Master of Ceremonies Dr. Kenna Seal introduced Ralph Kenneth Gosnell from the GHS Class of 1935 to the more than one hundred alumni and family members in attendance. Dr. Seal gave a brief outline of Mr. Gosnell’s growing up in southern Braxton County, his time at Gassaway High School and WVU as well as his decorated military service and professional life. When Seal handed Kenneth Gosnell the mic, he was quick to tell stories of his mischief deeds at GHS and a little about his military involvement. Being the humble man he is Gosnell summed up his decorated military career saying, “I did my part during the war. It’s nothing outstanding…”

The evening began with Barbara Adams, President of the GHS Alumni Association welcoming everyone in attendance and introducing the Master of Ceremonies. Dr. Seal began by calling upon Jack Vankirk, GHS Class of 1966 for the invocation. 

Following the meal, Dr. Seal introduced the GHS faculty members who were in attendance. After the roll call of classes, he read a list of graduates who had passed away during the preceding year, followed by a moment of silence in their honor.

Nancy Carr, Class of 1967 and Treasurer for the GHS Alumni Association, briefed the audience regarding the organization’s scholarship fund before calling Jill James, Class of 1962 to the podium to introduce the scholarship recipients, most of whom were in attendance.

In all the Association distributed $25,500 in scholarships to a total of fourteen BCHS graduates. Five members of the 2023 graduating class received $2,000 each to help further their education. The remaining nine from the previous two years received checks for $1,500 to help continue their education.

This year’s recipients included: Kaylee Criner, Jackson Davis, Matthias Garavaglia, Kayleigh Mays and Hannah Radcliff. Those getting additional awards include last year’s winners: Jesse Flint, Carly Given, Dalton Hardway, Hailey King and Andrew Pritt. Receiving awards from the class of 2021 were: Hunter Mitchell, Tate Roach, Riley Skeens and Trista Wayne.

Jarrett Frame, Class of 1969, presented another installment pertaining to the history of GHS. This slide presentation not only covered the school but how it was affected by WWII and the Great Depression.

Barbara Huffman’s leading the audience in singing the GHS School Song was a fitting end to the night of socialization, food and fun. Planning is already underway for the 2024 GHS Alumni Banquet. See additional Photographic coverage in Page 9 of this issue.