NHS class reunites, remembers teacher

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 8, 2001

Members of the Natchez High School Class of 1961 can quickly recall stories from their high school days.

There’s the time a few class members burned the entire front yard of the old high school, now know as the Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center.

&uot;Two of the boys decided one night to burn ’61 in the front yard,&uot; said class member Don Estes.

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They poured gasoline in the shape of the numbers, but the dry weather caused the fire to get out of control, Estes said.

The class members spent the weekend celebrating their 40th class reunion and telling such stories.

Also during that year, the Natchez-Adams School Board officially changed the school’s name to Margaret Martin High School in honor of a principal and teacher at the school.

Then during the last assembly of the school year, they surprised Martin with the news.

&uot;And she cried,&uot; Estes said. &uot;I remember that.&uot;

Also on Saturday, the class members searched the schoolyard for a long-buried time capsule. They also dedicated a garden at the school in memory of their former teacher and class sponsor, Flossie Klotz.

Klotz died several years ago but the students remembered her as helping them win musical competitions against the other classes at the school.

&uot;She was just very vibrant – very active with our class,&uot; said Linda Reese Shirley.

Paul Klotz, the widower of Flossie Klotz, said he missed his wife and he was sure she would have appreciated the honor.

&uot;She’d love to see all these people here,&uot; he said.

Their son, Paul William Klotz thought he knew exactly how his mother felt about this class.

&uot;She felt a responsibility to help each one of them reach their potential,&uot; he said.

That was why she was so tough on them and why she would view the garden dedication as a &uot;special tribute,&uot; he said.

&uot;She would say that she loved these students and that they had a true bond with her,&uot; Paul William Klotz said.

About 150 students graduated from Margaret Martin High School in 1961 and about 60 attended the reunion, Shirley said.