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Liberty families, faculties celebrate its 25th anniversary

Liberty Middle School Principal Nelson Brown, second from left, welcomed former principals to "Liberty's Legacy: A 25th-Year Celebration," including Dr. Brian Clayton, from left, Sandra Rhodes, Dr. Dee Fowler and Sally Bruer. (CONTRIBUTED)
Liberty Middle School Principal Nelson Brown, second from left, welcomed former principals to “Liberty’s Legacy: A 25th-Year Celebration,” including Dr. Brian Clayton, from left, Sandra Rhodes, Dr. Dee Fowler and Sally Bruer. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Alumni, retirees, students and staff relived “Liberty’s Legacy: A 25th-Year Celebration” on Oct. 21 for the middle school’s anniversary.

In 1989, Liberty was built at 281 Dock Murphy Drive by Madison County Schools and transitioned to Madison City Schools with its foundation in 1998.

“Liberty has such a wonderful culture,” Liberty Principal Nelson Brown said. “It was great hearing Liberty’s story told by former and present administrators and faculty members. I’m so proud to be a part of this amazing school.”

In the gym, Liberty Symphonic Band opened the program with “Londonderry Ballad” and later performed “Arabian Dances.” Katie Miller and Ethan Rakoff, James Clemens High School Band members and Liberty Band alumni, introduced the symphonic band.

Student Branden Mitchell introduced Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler, Liberty principal from 1993 to 1998.

When Fowler was principal, Liberty’s population exploded to approximately 1,500 students as Madison’s only middle school. Construction of Bob Jones High School’s new facility at 650 Hughes Road in 1996 eventually alleviated middle school overcrowding with the opening of Discovery Middle School at Bob Jones’ former site at 1304 Hughes Road.

James Clemens student John Larsen introduced the Liberty Choir for “How Can I Keep from Singing” and “Seasons of Love.” Art teacher Sarah Baker announced art contest winners.

Assistant principal Jamie Golliver led “Moments in Liberty History,” recognizing former principals Fowler, Sandra Rhodes (1990-1992), Steve Holland (1992-1993), Sally Bruer (1998-2011) and Dr. Brian Clayton (2011-2012). Physical education teachers Fran Cornelison and Terry Fuell were acknowledged for teaching at Liberty for 25 years.

“I Am Liberty” readings were presented by Liberty student Mhairi Kerr, James Clemens student Meg O’Bryant and Mill Creek elementary student Jack Willis.

Tour stops were stationed throughout the building. Athletic memorabilia and a photo slide show were presented in the front foyer. “Memory Lane: Past Yearbooks and Reflections Book” were exhibited in the library.

The band room’s “Musical Medley and 25 Years of Memorabilia” allowed former Liberty bandsmen and parents to recall their first years in a band program.

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