Back entrance sign at IRHS dedicated in Valerie’s memory

DAGSBORO –  Indian River High School Alumni Association’s second sign project for Indian River High School was dedicated Thursday in a sometimes-emotional ceremony at the school’s back entrance off Clayton Avenue.

From left: Pat Dare, Cindy Brewington, Eddie Brewington, Shirley Walls, Ellin Marsh, J.B. Rogers, Christine Broadwater, Marion Brewington and George Brewington.

Classmates, friends and family of the late Valerie Brewington Rogers – in whose memory the sign was donated – attended the evening dedication.

Family of Ms. Rogers, a well-liked student at IRHS, donated more than $3,100 to cover the cost of the sign.

In the bottom, right-hand corner of the 5-foot-by-8-foot sign are the words: “In Memory of Valerie Brewington Rogers: Class of 1978.

“On behalf of the Rogers family and the Brewington family, I want to thank everybody for letting us be a part of this,” said J.B. Rogers, Valerie’s husband. “I thank the Alumni Association again. This is a beautiful sign. And we all really appreciate what is in that right-hand corner. We will always be able to read that, forever and ever.”

“We were thrilled when we were contacted by the family of Valerie Brewington Rogers, who wanted to do something in her memory. I see many of Valerie’s friends and family here,” said Nancy Hickman, president of the IRHSAA. “On behalf of the alumni of Indian River High School, Valerie’s many friends and classmates of IR, thank you. We can’t thank you enough.”

Mr. Rogers shared IRHS yearbook reflections of his wife, who passed away in October 2015. She was 55.

“When I got thinking about what I wanted to say, I thought I’d go to the yearbook – the class yearbook. As I flipped through Valerie’s yearbook there were a couple three sections I stopped at,” said Mr. Rogers. “One was where they vote the “most comical,” the “most studious” … all of those. And Valerie got the “most versatile.” I think that speaks for her …”

“Second, I looked under her picture and it talked about things that she was a part of. One of the things was … she was the class secretary,” said Mr. Rogers. “It also mentioned she was the Homecoming Queen. I think being voted for that it just tells you how much the school and the seniors and everybody really as a general ruled liked Valerie and what she stood for.”

And in yearbook comments, Mr. Rogers said there were a “couple words that were there several times … and it said she was ‘a great friend.’”

“I think anybody that met her would say that whether it was in school or when she hung around after school and in the business world, she was just a great friend,” he said. “I think those words are very fitting for tonight.”

From left: J.B. Rogers, IRHSAA president Nancy Hickman and IRHSAA publication relations coordinator Ruth Ann Marvel.

New fencing running along a portion of the entrance was put in place in time for the dedication.

The IRHSAA also facilitated the school’s main electronic/digital sign at the Armory Road entrance. Before that, IRHS had no road signs to identify the new school, which opened in the fall of 2005.

In recent years, the alumni association has also awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships and rejuvenated the Indian River Hall of Fame.

“Community response has been something that has been awesome,” said Ms. Hickman. “We couldn’t do what we do without the community, especially the business community. They’ve really stepped up and supported our big fundraiser, the Beef & Brew, which takes place in the spring.”

“The community support has helped us with the purchase of the big digital sign out front. It has enabled us to hand out thousands of dollars in scholarships, not only to new Indian River grads but to people going back to school to continue their education,” said Ms. Hickman. “The Hall of Fame is something we have revitalized. For a long time, the Hall of Fame was kind of dormant. The alumni have been working on that.”

For more information on the Indian River High School Alumni Association, visit the association’s Facebook page or its website at www.IRHSAlumni.com.

Friends, Indian River High School classmates and family of the late Valerie Brewington Rogers stand in front of the sign dedicated in her memory.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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