Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Magnet Program

by Ted Jou ''99

On the afternoon of Saturday, October 23, alumni, teachers, and former teachers and staff of the Blair Magnet gathered at the Rockville Hilton to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Magnet Program. With the largest group coming from the Class of '91, alumni across class years came from around the country to attend the event. They mingled with their former teachers, including Ms. Steinkraus, Mr. Bunday, Mr. Walstein, Mr. Donaldson, Ms. Dyas, Ms. Escatell, Ms. Seelman, Ms. George, Ms. Bosse, Ms. Ragan, Ms. Dvorsky, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Currey, Mr. Kaluta, Mr. Stein, and Mr. Ostrander.Alumni shared stories of entrepreneurship, military service, law school, medical school, and a wide variety of career paths. Retired teachers shared stories of travel, of boats, and of grandchildren. Many alumni lived in the DC area, but others shared stories of alumni friends who still remain close in New York City, Chicago, Boston, and the San Francisco Bay Area.The Board of Directors of the Magnet Foundation organized the reunion to celebrate the important milestone and also to bring the Magnet community together and to raise money to support the Magnet Program. Parent volunteers Dan Shepherdson and Sherrie Emoto helped check in the guests and handed out nametags. Ted Jou '99 and Emily Yanisko '98 reached out to alumni through e-mail and Facebook. Ms. Steinkraus collected photos from the Magnet office of past Wallops Island trips, research projects, and other memories, which alumni were free to take home. Mr. Bunday addressed the crowd and asked everyone to please stay in touch. Since opening its doors in 1985, the Blair Magnet has graduated more than 2,000 students and generated countless memories. While now only about half of Magnet alumni remember Blair on Wayne Avenue, almost all remember Wallops Island, freshman Physics, and research projects. Many alumni have moved on to greater things, although with only 25 years, Magnet alumni are still quite young. In another five or twenty-five years, there are sure to be greater accomplishments and fonder memories.