PLYMOUTH — The Ply-mouth School Board unanimously — and enthusiastically — approved Rusty Nixon as the first Director of Development and Alumni Affairs for the Plymouth School Corporation.
The position is being funded for the first year by a private donation from a local businessman with the anticipation that the position will be sustained through memberships in a newly formed Alumni Association.
Superintendent Dan Tyree said, “There is nothing quite as unique as the feeling of extended ‘family’ that comes with having attended Ply-mouth Schools. Sometimes we lose track of family members, not by choice, but simply because life takes us in different directions. The Plymouth Alumni Associa-tion should act as that information bridge that allows members of the Plymouth Schools family to reconnect or stay connected.”
Tyree added, “With a deep base in modern technology lending a hand, the Ply-mouth Alumni Association can act as a connecting point to bring all these diverse people, needs, and talents together to keep the Plymouth Schools family strong.”
Tyree and several board members pointed out the strengths that Nixon, a 1980 PHS graduate, brings to the position.
“He has the passion and the skills — and we work very well together,” Tyree said.
Board member Todd Samuelson also commented on Nixon’s abilities, saying, “When they first talked about this position, I had a hard time getting my arms around it; but when I saw the recommendation, the light bulbs went off.”
Samuelson said Nixon is the perfect person for the job with his academic, athletics and speech background.
Larry Pinkerton, also a board member, referred to Nixon’s background, calling it “tremendous.”
Nixon comes to the job with 27 years of experience in all aspects of electronic and print media. He is currently working as a freelance writer and correspondent for the Pilot News and has written for the South Bend Tribune. Among other positions in the past, he served for many years as the Sports Editor/ Columnist for the Pilot News.
“I want to make contact with anyone,” Nixon said. “My door is always open, my phones are always on, and my cell phone is with me.”
Nixon has already started promoting membership in the alumni association and passed out membership forms to the board members immediately after he was approved.
Tyree said, “Realistically, we hope to be able to gain a member list of around 500 people by the end of 2010. By the end of July, 2011, we hope to have 1,000 members.”
Nixon said membership is also open to those who did not graduate from Plymouth, but have an interest in the schools.
Tyree concurred saying, “We will market membership to anyone who has attended Plymouth Schools, but we won’t be limited to that. Honorary memberships will be available to those who have become a part of our community later in life and have a great interest in the strength and performance of the Plymouth School Corpor-ation.”
Members can expect to receive quarterly alumni e-newsletters with features on other members and news items of interest to alumni. Additional contacts will be made through an extensive web presence with an official website, Facebook page, and Twitter.
An ambitious week-long list of activities for an “alumni week” starting at the end of July has already been compiled.
Tyree said, “A natural spin-off or-ganization of the alumni association would be the formation of a non-profit education foundation.”