About the Association
The Charles M. Sumner Memorial High School Alumni Association project began in October, 2019, prompted in large part by continued work on the design of the new middle/high school, scheduled to replace the original Sumner Memorial High School building in the fall of 2022. Preliminary discussion about the formation of a formal alumni association had taken place over the course of the preceding years and several groups on social media exist which, to an extent, unify a number of former students. However, no comprehensive organization was known to exist.
To that end, beginning with lists of graduate provided by the Guidance Office, yearbooks provided by the SMHS Library and the Sullivan-Sorrento Historical Society, and historical town reports from the component towns of Regional School Unit No. 24 and some surrounding communities, we began the process of compiling as comprehensive a list of former students as possible. The decision was made early on, in the interest of inclusiveness, that the association would embrace the most broad definition of alumni: anyone who had been a student, and not only those who had graduated from Sumner. We recognize that due to the incompleteness of our source material that likely we will never have a complete list of all of the students who have ever attended the school, but it is our ultimate goal to include as many as possible.
The first phase of developing the association is the building of a database of former students. Intentionally, this is being done from the earliest graduating class of 1953 and moving forward. Through the alumni search process, we attempt to locate records of the former students that first identify whether or not the alum is still living. Following from that identification, those alumni who are still alive we attempt to locate contact information for, and follow up with them to determine whether or not they are interested in being connected with the association, and if so, to what extent. If the alum is deceased, we attempt to determine the year they passed, and if possible, locate an obituary for them.
Once we have reached a certain, to be determined, milestone in the alumni search, we will consider initiating a newsletter which will update those members who expressed an interest in remaining in touch as to the efforts of the association. The alumni search of course will continue until we have reached the present day and most recent graduating classes. While we are not actively soliciting any form of membership due to be a part of the association, for those members who are able and willing, a contribution would be gratefully accepted. It is the intent of the association to exist solely as a volunteer-operated organization and any money collected in the form of optional dues will be spent only for material and operating cost of the associations activities such as the mailing of printed newsletters to alumni not technologically inclined, and the operation of the website. Any funds otherwise given as a donation can be directed either to support the new school project and its fundraising efforts, or to a scholarship account which will hpefully one day form the basis of an endowment to the benefit of future Sumner graduates. At this time we have no specific mechanism to accept any contributions but in the near term hope to work with RSU 24 to accept them on our behalf, and as the association grows, we hope to achieve official non-profit status of our own.
An ultimate goal of the association would be to provide service of value to the membership, in the form of mailings ranging from annual to quarterly, aid in coordinating reunions, perhaps organizing future alumni events or benefits in general, and fundraising for the new school and/or scholarships for students pursuing post-secondary education.
At the present time, the association project is being spearheaded by Roy D. Gott, graduate and salutatorian of the Class of 2000, resident of Franklin, and as of this writing Chair of the Board of Directors of Regional School Unit No. 24 which presently operates Sumner Memorial High School. We are being aided in our efforts by the cooperation of a number of individuals from the community, in particular Lynn Dunbar Murphy (Class of 1974) of Sullivan, Cindy Bishop Lowe (Class of 1966) of Gouldsboro, and Catherine Lilly Carruthers of Winter Harbor.
How Can You Help?At the present time, if you have information about a specific alum, you may send an email to the address on the home page or using the Contact Us page. If you would like to see which alumni we still need information for as part of our alumni search, you can request a Guest Access key which will allow you to login and see the status of the alumni we have been working on. Guest Access is a limited view, organized by class year and is not presently searchable, but will categorize between those we have all necessary information for, and those listings that are incomplete.