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Springfield, county honor first principal of ECHS
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Effingham County High School will dedicate a room at the school in honor of the first principal of ECHS.

Springfield City Council and Effingham County commissioners have declared Aug. 4 as Ross Rountree Day. A ceremony will be held at ECHS at 11 a.m. that day and the school’s conference room will be dedicated to Rountree.

Born in 1916, Rountree, who served in the Marine Corps in World War II, began his career after graduating from what was then Georgia Teachers College. He was principal at Effingham Academy in 1954 and moved to the high school when it opened in 1956.

“Semper fi to a great American hero,” said county commission Chairman Dusty Zeigler, touching on the Marine Corps’ motto of “semper fidelis.”
Commissioners, in approving Ross Rountree Day, also agreed to a proclamation honoring Rountree.

“Over the course of our county’s history, there are individuals who have served our community with unquestionable character, charismatic enthusiasm and unwavering loyalty. Ross Rountree is just such an individual,” the proclamation read.

Rountree was principal for 18 years and later served one term on the Effingham County Board of Education. He also served with the Boy Scouts, Effingham County Civil Defense during the Meldrim train disaster and was president of Springfield Lions Club.

Springfield City Council member Kenny Usher noted that Rountree was a longtime participant in American Legion Post 209.

“He was an active and energetic member,” Usher said.

Council member Max Neidlinger said the school expects approximately 400 people to be on hand that day, including former students, teachers, coaches and staff.

“I think it will be a great opportunity to have a little reunion,” he said.