Gymnasium at China Grove Middle School dedicated to Donald W. Bost

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Susan Shinn
CHINA GROVE ó It was an evening filled with reminiscences and laughter as the Donald W. Bost Gymnasium was dedicated Thursday at China Grove Middle School.
Bost, who retired there as principal in the spring, spent nearly his entire career at the school. James Davis is the school’s new principal.
All proceeds from the night were donated to Relay for Life in memory of Sherry Bost.
Bost’s wife of 35 years died a little more than a year ago of cancer. She spent a good deal of her career at the middle school, retiring as a guidance counselor from Knollwood Elementary School.
Bost said before the presentation he was touched and humbled by the honor.
“It’s special,” he said. “I’ve got to admit, I’m awfully proud to see my name on a building in the Rowan-Salisbury Schools.”
Faculty, parents and the community all made his job easier, he said.
Many of Bost’s former colleagues were on hand for the short ceremony that took place between the girls’ and boys’ basketball games against Knox Middle School.
Dr. Alan King worked closely with Bost as principal of South Rowan High School.
“Every once and a while, he’d call and say, ‘Dr. King, I’ve got this situation …’ ” King said. “He is a wonderful person. This school carried his personality.”
Many of the educators who gathered spent the majority of their careers there.
Jim Christy and Steve Beaver held up the back wall at the locker rooms, just like always.
Bob Parker looked back on his long tenure as girls’ basketball coach. He coached the first game in the gym back in 1974.
One of his players on that team was Suzy Lambert, who’s spent 27 years on the faculty. She was part of an eight-member faculty choir which sang “God Bless America.”
The song ends with the familiar words, “God Bless America, my home, sweet home.”
“We want to let Mr. Bost know that China Grove Middle is his home,” said Jennifer Hancock, assistant principal.
Steve Mabry, who spent his entire career at China Grove Middle as a teacher, was tapped to present the plaque to Bost. Mabry’s wife is on the faculty now.
Tongue planted firmly in cheek, Mabry said beforehand he’s always felt responsible for Bost’s success.
“We’ve been friends for a long time,” he said.
Mabry admires Bost’s steadiness.
“You know what you got,” he said. “You don’t have to wonder.”
During the presentation, Mabry noted that he realized when Bost became principal, he was no longer “Don” but “Mr. Bost.”
“It’s a great honor,” Bost told the gathering after receiving a standing ovation. “I do miss all of this, but it’s gonna be good when that ballgame ends to just walk away.”
Just for the record, Bost told the crowd, this wasn’t the first time his name has been on the gym.
A couple of years ago, graffiti scrawled on the top of the gym had to be removed by maintenance workers.
At least, he said, it began with the words, “Mr. Bost …”