Just 50 years ago, the constructions workers pulled away from West District School and the students poured in, joining teachers and staff in singing the Star Spangled Banner and saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
With that, the school opened. Recently, the school community joined together to celebrate its 50 years with an assembly similar to its first.
“Our school opened with a prayer and a hope for the children,” West District Principal Sharon Lowery said at the ceremony. “And all the grownups worked very hard for the children to help them learn.”
Some of those grownups joined the celebration at West District, including many former staff members.
“I know they would be so proud of all the work they’ve done and the work you’ve done,” Lowery told the students, all assembled in red West District t-shirts.
The students had spent the preceding days guessing what might be in the school’s time capsule, buried by students of each grade in 1987 – 25 years after the school opened.
One faculty member had been a student at the school, Diane Magnuson, who works in the office. Magnuson got the honor of opening the time capsule and showing the students what was inside.
Babysitter’s Club books, VHS tapes, Pacman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figurines were some of the guesses 2012 students made about the contents of the time capsule. And some of those guesses were right.
Magnuson pulled out many items, including a 25th-year anniversary t-shirt, a pair of decorated Converse hightops, a VHS tape and a cassette of the Beastie Boys. Student artwork, old baseball cards, a green fluorescent highlighter (brand new in 1987), a sculpture of Alf and a Ziploc bag with the yellow-and-green-make-blue-seal, among others.
The 2012 students will choose items to put back in the time capsule, which will be reburied for another 25 years.