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Golden Anniversary: Fort Dale Academy celebrates 50 years

It was 50 years ago last week when the first students walked into the classrooms at Fort Dale Academy, and current students at the school kicked off a year of celebrations in commemoration.

Last Thursday, students enjoyed more than 600 cupcakes provided be alumni, volunteers, parents and teachers. The entire school, nearly 500 students, along with faculty and staff posed for a group picture in the gymnasium.

In the courtyard between buildings, third-grade teacher and SGA sponsor Jackie Thompson helped distribute the cupcakes during morning break.

“It is a big deal,” she said. “It is our 50th year and we’re doing a lot of celebrations throughout the year. This week would have been the inaugural week for Fort Dale to start in 1969, so we though this was a good way to kick off our 50th year.”

Thompson said many people helped to put the celebration together.

“We had a lot of cupcakes,” she said. “We had a lot of alumni volunteers. Sue Arnold was very instrumental in helping us get this together. We had a lot of volunteers that wanted to make sure that every student and faculty member had a cupcake for the celebration. We also took the group picture to commemorate the occasion and how far we’ve come since 1969 to where we are in 2019.”

Student Government President Sam Winters talked about the importance of the anniversary as he handed out cupcakes to fourth graders between classes.

“It’s been fun serving the cupcakes,” the senior said. “I hope we can make it a great year. We’ve done a lot of preparation for this. We planned most of this out. We’re going to have a lot more of the 50th incorporated into Homecoming this year. We’re going to have extra floats and stuff in the parade to celebrate the 50th year.”

First-year Headmaster Kurt Page said it is an honor to be a part of the celebrations in his first year in the role.

“It’s really neat,” he said, “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime to celebrate the 50th year of Fort Dale Academy and the longevity. The kids have really embraced that. These kids have enjoyed having a birthday celebration today and it’s really a neat thing.”

Page said the school had grown and is continuing to grow since its beginnings five decades ago.

“We’ve got a lot of new construction as well,” Page said. “We are getting a new gym and redoing some areas and just trying to make it an exceptional area for our young men and women.”

Page said Fort Dale Academy would have a series of celebrations throughout the year to help celebrate and recognize the Golden Anniversary.

“Of course we’re going to have some things surrounding Homecoming,” he concluded. “In March, we will have another big event as well to celebrate our 50th year. We have a lot of people that are really getting involved. We are really trying to make it a neat experience this year.”