Brief history of Mount Desert High celebrated

MOUNT DESERT — Don Coates, who was principal of Mount Desert High School (MDHS) from its opening in 1951 to 1963, was among the 170 people celebrating the 50th anniversary of the school’s last graduating class Sept. 15 at Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor.

Coates went on to become dean of the college of education at the University of Maine.

Now 97, he told his former MDHS students at the reunion event, “I’ll see you in 10 years.”

MDHS included grades seven through 12. Although its last senior class graduated in 1968, the year Mount Desert Island High School opened, MDHS remained open for students in the lower grades until 1973. A number of those former students attended Saturday’s reunion.

At least one of the celebrants, Jean Fernald, was a student at Gillman High School in Northeast Harbor, which was torn down after MDHS opened, and then graduated from MDHS. She later taught at MDHS and then at MDI High.

Other MDHS graduates attending the reunion were Bob Pyle, class of ’64, former director of the Northeast Harbor Library, and Mount Desert Town Manager Durlin Lunt, ’65.

The event organizers were Mady Allen, class of ’66, and Lowell Chase (MDI High), class of ’71.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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