A champion for Benton Harbor schools

Stephen Mitchell is president of the Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education.

BENTON HARBOR — Growing up in Benton Harbor in the 1950s and early 1960s was pretty idyllic, said Stephen Mitchell, 71, president of Benton Harbor Area Schools.

"During the '60s, it was a great time. It really was," said Mitchell, the youngest of eight children. "We grew up on North McCord Street. It was very diverse during that time. ... Everyone played together. Got along. Neighbors knew neighbors. That sort of thing. It was a great time. Downtown was bustling. I have some great memories."