One of the oldest schools in the Hilliard City School District will be celebrating its golden anniversary in a couple of weeks.

One of the oldest schools in the Hilliard City School District will be celebrating its golden anniversary in a couple of weeks.

Principal Greg Hennes said the birthday celebration at J.W. Reason Elementary School will be held on Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Staff members and parent volunteers, making up a separate committee, have gone through the old yearbooks and contacted the alumni association in an attempt to reach former students of the school.

Reading teacher Denise Worthington turned to the local Northwest Franklin County Historical Society for help in researching the school and its namesake, James W. Reason.

Reason was a physician who was born outside of Hilliard, graduated from Reynoldsburg High School, attended Ohio Northern and Starling Medical College (now known as the Ohio State College of Medicine), came home to practice medicine for 50 years and became a member of the "Hilliards School Board."

"It was called Hilliards at the time," said Worthington. "It did not become Hilliard until it was incorporated."

She learned in her research that the property around town was bought by John Reed Hilliard, for whom the town was named. The town once served as a train stop, known as Hilliard's Station.

Somewhere along the way, Worthington said, the apostrophe was dropped and the community became Hilliards.

Reason's wife preceded him in death, but his foster daughter Jessica Jasper took care of him in the later years of his life.

When Reason died at the age of 76, Jasper carried on his tradition of being a physician.

Worthington said she had a great time working with the historical society since her first degree is in history.

"I don't have time to do things like that," she said of the extensive research.

The first principal at J.W. Reason was Roy C. Moore, according to Worthington.

She at first thought the last name was Seymour, because she heard it pronounced over the telephone, but his daughter called to correct her.

"We invited her to the celebration," said Worthington. "She doesn't live in Hilliard, but she said she will come."

The information that Worthington discovered in her research at the historical society has been passed on to teachers, whose students are studying time lines.

"A lot of the things in the standards go with the 50th celebration," said Worthington.

J.W. Reason was a fifth-grade building when the school opened, but she was surprised that it did not have a kindergarten.

"That was not offered until two or three years later," she said.

Worthington, who is originally from the Cincinnati area, said she was particularly surprised because Columbus was considered as the birthplace of kindergarten.

The children were surprised by some of the things they have been learning about their school, she said.

"When you go through 50 years, the changes have been incredible," said Worthington. "This generation has never even seen a record, they have been raised with CDs and Play Stations. They don't even know about three channels. They are shocked by it."

Some of the prices of that time period are shocking, even for the adults.

Art teacher Gaye Andrick is going to have a quilt on display during the celebration, according to Worthington.

As people arrive for the reunion, they will be asked to sign their names on a fabric square and it will be quilted in.

All types of student art and classroom projects will be on display during the celebration.

In leading up to the event, Worthington said, the students are learning about popular artists of that day, music and even the school menus.

"The menu is almost the same, it's kind of funny," she said. "One of the parents had a supply list that showed where the students were charged 20 cents for the use of scissors and paste from 1964-68. I don't remember paying for stuff until I was in high school."

In coupling the learning experience with the birthday celebration, Hennes said, the school will have a disc jockey set up, a café where guests may enjoy lunch, a silent auction and a sock hop.

"Since it is more of an open house, some of us are talking about dressing up," Worthington said, explaining that they may be in the appropriate attire for a sock hop.

Hennes and Worthington said they are excited about the open house as are students, staff and several community members.

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