Like many retirees, Jerry Brown enjoys reflecting on the past. But the former educator isn’t content to rest with his memories; he’s taken a hands-on approach to paying homage to Perry Meridian High School’s history.
Brown, a former government and economics teacher, is the creator and caretaker of the Perry Meridian High School Alumni/History Rooms in the Perry Township Education Center. These three rooms feature memorabilia from the southside school where he taught from 1974 to 2010.
“I just love history, and I’m a sentimental person. That’s the root of all this,” Brown says.
Open to the public during the Perry Township Education Center hours — 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the school year — visitors will find just about everything from yearbooks, senior videos, student art work and scrapbooks, to sports programs, team jerseys, pictures and even an original marching band uniform. There are also binders filled with pictures and information on teachers who have worked at and retired from Perry Meridian, as well as videotaped graduation ceremonies dating to the mid-1980s, now transferred to DVDs (check out that hair!).
Brown’s efforts at preserving the school’s past began in earnest in 2013 when he started asking graduates to donate memorabilia and interviewed former students and teachers. Social media, namely Facebook, allowed him to make specific requests and interact with former students.
Brown tries to be present when guests tour the alumni rooms so he can guide them to specific items and areas that may interest them. “I just want to do everything I can to encourage people to visit these rooms,” he says.
Alumni are responding. “These days, as people have learned about what I’m doing, they have started to approach me,” he says. “I don’t accept everything, but I take a lot. I’m always on the lookout.”
For more information on donating memorabilia or visiting the Perry Meridian Alumni Rooms, email Brown at [email protected].