Sand Hill-Chireno alumni unveil memorial monument at school reun - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Sand Hill-Chireno alumni unveil memorial monument at school reunion

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Alumni of the Bethel- Sand Hill/Chireno Colored School marched through an empty lot where the school once stood, towards a monument dedicated to keeping the spirit of the school alive after it closed in 1966.

"Primarily as a part of desegregation as it was in many communities throughout the country, the change was required," said Keneth Freo, Sand Hill Class of 1966.    

Keneth Freo was a member of the last graduating class and though schools of the time were segregated he remembers Sand Hill as tight knit family

"It was enjoyable, I really don't have any complaints, I don't think we ever missed anything," said Freo.

There were only 10 in Perlene Horton's graduating class in 1951, but Horton credits the faculty and says the bonds they had then are still strong today.

"The best teachers, well prepared teachers that there was anywhere, we had  lots of fun and didn't know we were missing out on things so for that reason we were just happy kids," said Horton.

Now that the monument has been placed on the school's former ground alumni hope it will serve as a  history lesson and inspire a new generation.

 "They'll look back and realize the importance of this and take a look at that monument and all the teachers and whatever is on it that it will still them to do something to pass on to the generations that follow them," said Horton.

"I think over the years as myself and others pass on and people come through the community as kids and grandkids it will be a markers of what has been here and who we were," said Freo.

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