‘It’s like a family’

As part of the Southwest DeKalb Alumni Association’s seventh annual alumni cookout, DeKalb County commissioner Larry Johnson officially designated Aug. 5, 2017 as Southwest DeKalb Day in DeKalb County. Pictured: Johnson, Southwest DeKalb Alumni Association president Danny Davison and Southwest DeKalb principal Thomas Glanton. Photo by R. Scott Belzer 

Celebrating Southwest DeKalb 

More than 1,500 alumni from Southwest DeKalb High School came together Aug. 5 to celebrate the school’s history, shared history and community as part of the seventh annual Southwest DeKalb Alumni Cookout.“It’s just family,” said Danny Davison, Southwest DeKalb High School Alumni Association president and member of the class of ’91. “When I was in high school there was five years of high school—we didn’t have middle school.

When you spend five years with someone, regardless of age, you get a kinship with them. As the years get along, you need a reason to stick together.”

For many Southwest DeKalb High School alumni, one reason for staying in touch is the annual cookout.

The 2017 cookout took place at Salem Park and was also celebrated as Southwest DeKalb Day in DeKalb County by Commissioner Larry Johnson.

Johnson said Southwest DeKalb earned the distinction because of its student retention in the community, appearances in movies and television as well as its sense of fellowship.

SWD Alumni Cookout 2017

20621282_10102776597214104_5535070662233501551_n
DSCN5203
DSCN5175 - Copy
DSCN5185
DSCN5214
DSCN5212
20728028_1642904612409874_2130029539330664061_n
20621792_1642941542406181_3915903385670216421_n
20663838_1642915129075489_8991256402297978638_n
20638129_1642927342407601_666298113078242919_n
20622282_10212107704200846_315151778643205782_n
20731261_10213677760682280_381123919_n
20638944_1642936092406726_445783649073238174_n
20622166_10214183500606416_5801775136417988914_n
20708027_1642953345738334_3678284816141483798_n
DSCN5179
20620779_10154712127211720_8050526799959701142_n
20621089_1584853221546557_9197542172189799527_n
20638325_10214361438211551_7666030680672410415_n
20664864_10154712127261720_144175371007622644_n
20638533_1642931652407170_6282402162440286478_n
20664632_1877231335936335_4797492604479625880_n
20663849_1642931319073870_7619693144766715016_n
20622236_1642931759073826_9021437347282019583_n
20638632_1642931812407154_3703407770441840007_n
20663838_1642915129075489_8991256402297978638_n
20622106_10208306138365072_4432162566932559818_n
20638247_10102772882638144_5647493799705753461_n
20731261_10213677760682280_381123919_n

Davison said the alumni cookout began in 2010 and has grown each year for the past seven years. He said the alumni association’s ties to local businesses and other governing bodies allow the operation to run smoothly.

“We average about 1,200 to 1,500 alumni,” Davison said. “Preparation alone begins in March. We work with DeKalb County Parks & Recreation and [rental companies] and everybody works with us.”

Davison said the main comment he receives as feedback is, “We can’t wait for next year.”

“We’ve actually outgrown Salem Park,” Davison said. “We’re looking to move somewhere a bit bigger.”

Davison said the difference between Southwest DeKalb High and other metro Atlanta high schools cannot be described, only felt. He said he regularly keeps in contact with four to five classmates, but thinks about, talks to and sends well-wishes to more than 30.

“That goes for every class here. It’s hard to dictate and tell people exactly what it is,” Davison said. “You have to be a part of it and know exactly what it is. It’s like a family—we’re all cousins. We enjoy getting together and spending time together, even if it’s for five hours on one day. We treat it like it’s a week.”

 

 

 

4,839 total views, 2 views today

Facebook Comments

7 thoughts on “‘It’s like a family’

  • August 9, 2017 at 1:11 pm
    Permalink

    What an awesome Article. He caught me running from one side of the park to the other. Hope that I made you all proud, and clearly represented us well.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2017 at 1:15 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks Scott B. for a great representation of my Alma Mater!!!!

    Reply
    • August 9, 2017 at 6:18 pm
      Permalink

      Awesome Article and so well stated from my brother and driend Danny Davison. As we continue to grow we will change and transform our community one step at a time, one person at a time. SWD love is second to none and will be held with the panther pride instilled in each of us. Panther Panther Pride Pride!

      Reply
  • August 9, 2017 at 4:30 pm
    Permalink

    Salute Principal, Dr. Thomas Glanton, who continue to carry on with the greatness of Southwest Dekalb High School. He’s a gem and a magnificent educational leader & superior educator. He is loved greatly by the students!

    Reply
  • August 9, 2017 at 5:36 pm
    Permalink

    A great school with a great history in both Academics and Sports. …. Continued success ….

    Reply
  • August 10, 2017 at 2:41 pm
    Permalink

    Let me start off by tipping my hat to the (SWD Family) It was a Alumni reunion and not just a cookout and a big shout out to the class of 87, one thing I can say about my class we’ve been clicked up every since high school and we throw Gatherings all the time at each other’s homes straight Ballin 87. NOTE I attended the other school and believe me there is no comparison, it’s just as different as night and day. It’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scene that a lot of people don’t realize before and after the event.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2017 at 8:17 pm
    Permalink

    Wonderfully written! Being apart of the SWD Legacy and tradition, just make our enthusiasm pop when we see each other. We can’t wait to do it all again next year. #SWD4LIFE #WeAreFamily #SWDAA #SWDday. Class of ’91!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *