One More Visit Held May 1st

South Amherst Middle School, formerly South Amherst School District, was open on May 1, 2022, for the community to walk the halls for a final visit. Doors of every classroom and each gymnasium were open for visitors to enter and reminisce. Alumni and staff of both South Amherst District and Firelands Local Schools, along with community members, enjoyed walking through the building and visiting with old friends.



Back row left to right: Bonnie Bliss, Carol Pullins, Nancy Mitchell, Vicki Meecha. Seated left to right: Brenda Barr, Wanda Currier.

This group of retired South Amherst and Firelands teachers spent the afternoon sharing memories with each other and previous students! This group of ladies, know as “The Queens”, met at South Amherst 37 years ago and still remain in touch today. Ms. Currier is the senior member at 88 years old!


Mr. Carlock and Mrs. Beran

Mr. John Carlock and Mrs. Laurie Beran are South Amherst High School alumni and both have spent many years teaching at South Amherst Middle School! They both graciously volunteered to participate and to first-hand answer questions regarding the history of the South Amherst School District. In the background, you can see memorabilia on display courtesy of Mrs. Bev (Eldridge) Baker, fellow South Amherst Alumni and Firelands employee.

A Champion Return:

In 1959, Mr. Art Roose was the first student from South Amherst School District to earn a trip to state for his athletic accomplishments in track. He represented the school through Pole Vault. Mrs. Roose stated that when he was leaving the school for the competition, “Someone shut the door on his pole, snapping it into two pieces.” Seasoned vaulters understand the importance of using equipment that you are familiar with! Nevertheless, Mr. Roose continued on and did extremely well at state. He is proud to be able to share the photo with his family members.

Class of 1940

Mrs. Helen Simashkevich, member of the South Amherst Class of 1940, is pictured above with her granddaughters and great-granddaughters. Her granddaughters graduated from Firelands High School and her great-granddaughters will graduate from Firelands High School as well.

Mrs. Helen Simashkevich was our most honorable guest on Sunday. Mrs. Simashkevich is approaching 100 years of life and is a member of the South Amherst High School Class of 1940. Her photo is near the bottom, second from left, in the class composite. She loved touring the smaller gym and said that she remembered it well.

Superintendent Mike Von Gunten enjoyed seeing so many community members return for the event. Von Gunten said, “People sharing memories with their families and friends is what this day is all about.”

Please click here to read additional coverage of One More Visit from The Chronicle Telegram.

Historical pieces, including picture composites and trophies will be passed to the South Amherst Historical Association, with blessings from the South Amherst Alumni Association. The new Firelands High School will be open in August, shifting middle school classes to the current high school building. The new Firelands High School will opened at the same time.

The district remains in negations with California based Industrial Realty Group (IRG) regarding the future of the South Amherst building.