BATH — When Virginia Kingsbury MacDonald went to elementary school, she did so by walking down a dirt road to a one room schoolhouse.

Now, she’ll be walking down an aisle to take her place of honor as the oldest active Morse High School alumnus at the school’s alumni celebration. MacDonald turned 97 in April, and was part of the graduating class of 1938.

MacDonald’s graduating class consisted of 105 students, which was large at the time. When she started high school in 1934, the Morse High School building was just a few years old as the previous building burned in 1928.

She said she barely remembers the fire itself but remembers the conversations that came in its wake.

“I do remember the people talking about the fire, and it was so bad and so hot that the ashes from it were flying all over the place,” she said.

As a young girl, she had to walk quite a distance to get to the Littlefield School in West Bath, a one-room schoolhouse that has recently been restored. Despite old adages about walking to school in the winter, she said the hardest time to walk to school was spring, as you’d end up getting bogged down in the mud.

“I remember one time I walked in one of the mud holes and pulled my boot right off, I had to go get my boot and pull it out,” she said.

Growing up, her parents moved to various parts of Bath, so she ended up attending multiple elementary schools up until middle school.

“Kids would say ‘how come you know so many kids from the north end,’” said MacDonald. “I had a leg up on everybody cause I lived there. Kids coming from the south end that had always lived in the south end, they didn’t know these kids in the north end at all.”

MacDonald has been active in the alumni community for decades, and helped organize luncheons for her class after their 50th reunion. She was her “class agent,” and made sure to get in touch with everyone so they could plan to get together once a month. It was a role she didn’t initially ask for; the previous agent had grown tired of the effort of organizing everyone.

“I said ‘we’ve got to have a class agent, we can’t survive without a class agent to keep in touch with everybody!’ She said, ‘you do it,’ so I said ‘all right, I will!’” said MacDonald.

From then on she organized get-togethers with other alumni once a month. Often, people who had moved to far-flung states would attend if they were in town visiting family.

“We had not just Bath people, but we had one fellow and his wife that lived in Portsmouth, N.H., and they came down whenever we had a class luncheon,” said MacDonald.

MacDonald has also managed to make almost every single alumni gathering, except for one a few years back where an injury prevented her from attending. She remembers when meeting used to last a lot longer, something that’s changed to help prevent people from “getting restless,” she said.

In the past her class would head off to private parties, these days: “our speed is a breakfast in the morning.”

Despite being an active alumnus, she said she never really stood out much in high school, nor did she try to. After graduating, she ended up becoming fast friends with people she never associated with through her school days.

“I got to be friends with so many that I hardly knew anything about in high school,” she said. “It seemed like as you get older, and you start seeing the people that hardly spoke to you when you were in high school, we turned out to be best of friends.”

MacDonald’s advice to anyone trying to stay friends with people is straightforward: “If you want to keep your friends, do not start a conversation about religion or politics!”