Bexley Middle School
Eighth-grader's promise finally is fulfilled
Emily Reed sees her idea for an official sign become reality
Who said teenagers couldn't move mountains? Well, brick and mortar may be more like it.
The Bexley City School District unveiled a new sign in front of its middle school last week, thanks to the efforts of a graduating senior who launched the project five years ago, when she was an eighth-grader.
Her perseverance and motivation culminated in the permanent fixture at the school, which now gives both the building and its attendees some acknowledgement.
"We were so excited to come to the middle school," said Emily Reed, a member of Bexley High School's class of 2013. "Then we felt so lost -- here was a big, huge building without any designation."
The idea for the sign began as a campaign promise back in middle school when Reed was running for student council president of her eighth-grade class.
"I felt like we needed some designation," she said, remembering the feeling she had coming to the new school.
After she won the election and became the new student council president for her class, she got down to work.
She and her classmates tried to raise funds as a class, selling T-shirts for their eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C., but it just wasn't enough.
Several alumni then stepped in to donate, and the Bexley High School Alumni Association added needed funds to bring Reed's campaign promise to fruition.
Surrounded by many of those donors last week, along with numerous district representatives and her family members, Reed beamed with pride at her accomplishment -- although remaining humble in pointing out all those who contributed.
"It's a great thing. I'm glad it all came together so well," Reed, a fourth generation Bexley graduate, told the informal crowd. "I'm really happy."
Under sunny skies and amid a warm spring breeze, Reed stood outside the Cassingham Complex May 24, as a Bexley student one last time, participating in the unveiling.
Bexley Superintendent Mike Johnson, also beaming with pride as he took giant scissors in hand, stood alongside Reed to cut the ribbon unveiling the sign.
"It has taken a while but it has come to fruition while you are still here," he told Reed, who turned her tassel during the high school's May 26 graduation ceremony.
"Thank you Emily. It's beautiful and it complements the high school sign. It brings pride to this school and I think it indicates that (pride) when somebody comes by here."
He spoke of her legacy, and that of the class that helped her in making the sign a reality.
In fact, "Class of 2013" is etched in the bottom corner, commemorating both Reed's and her classmates' efforts.
The brick and mortar sign -- complete with a Bexley lion -- fits in with the high school sign just yards away.
"It's probably going to prompt us to put up an elementary school sign, too," Johnson said, laughing.
Reed will now look forward to heading off to Ohio State University where she will study engineering.
The original Cassingham Complex was built in 1927 and housed grades first through seventh. "Bexley Junior High" focused on educating seventh- and eighth-graders.
The name of the school was changed to "Bexley Middle School" in 1989.
Donors to the project included Lang Stone Co., Columbus Coal and Lime Co., Stone Escapes and the Bexley High School Alumni Association.