Sand Hill-Chireno alumni unveil memorial monument at school reunion

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Alumni of the Bethel- Sand Hill/Chireno Colored Schoolmarched through an empty lot where the school once stood, towards a monumentdedicated to keeping the spirit of the school alive after it closed in 1966.

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

Keneth Freo was a member of the lastgraduating class and though schools of the time were segregated he remembersSand Hill as tight knit family

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

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

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

Now that the monument has been placedon 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 theimportance of this and take a look at that monument and all the teachers andwhatever is on it that it will still them to do something to pass on to thegenerations that follow them," said Horton.

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

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