DERRY — It’s a place where prominent people walked the halls. It’s steeped in tradition and history as it moves toward a major milestone.
Pinkerton Academy turns 200 this year and planning is underway to make the year ahead full of special events, traditions, history and school spirit.
Pinkerton trustees officially signed a proclamation on Dec. 19 at the Alumni Building before students, alumni and administration.
Longtime English teacher Ann West and Headmaster Mary Anderson lead the official anniversary committee.
West has spent 55 years as part of the Pinkerton family, 53 of those teaching in the classroom and most recently continuing her work with Pinkerton Players theater students.
She said taking on the 200th birthday project is hard work, but a labor of love.
The process began in 2012.
“We had to decide what 2014 would look like,” West said.
That included getting as many administrators, staff, students, trustees and alumni involved as possible.
A full schedule of events through 2014 includes galas, special sports activities, student-run events, historical programs, and many other opportunities for the school and greater community to celebrate.
Several students attended the signing of the proclamation. Anderson told them they were witnessing history being made.
For West, having Anderson as her co-chairman is important.
“It’s because of her breadth of knowledge,” she said.
Notables who once called Pinkerton home include Robert Frost, who taught English during his time living in Derry, and Alan B. Shepard Jr., a member of the Class of 1940 and the first American in space. They are part of Pinkerton’s long list of traditions and history, West said.
Following Shepard’s famed flight in 1961, Pinkerton athletic teams became known as the Astros. A classroom where Frost once taught English still remains.
Athletic teams will wear special patches during 2014 to commemorate the anniversary. More than 5,000 patches have been created.