LIBERTY — For half a century, what has made Lewis and Clark Elementary School excellent has been families and staff, Principal Mitchell Hiser said. Celebrating its 50th birthday, Lewis and Clark will host two special events in addition to its 2018 Annual Fall Tailgate, Saturday, Oct. 6.

The first event welcomes Trailblazer alumni back to the building from 5 to 6 p.m. for open house tours of Lewis and Clark Elementary, located at 1407 Nashua Road. Since its construction in 1968, the school has added three additions. During the tours, guests from different classes may find themselves in spaces they’ve never seen before. Guests are asked to sign the visitors book upon entry.

A second event for former teachers will follow from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the library. The event will feature pizza, cupcakes and refreshments.

Recalling moments from the school’s history, Hiser discussed a letter he received in February in recognition of the school anniversary. Written by Janeil Bryan, the letter comes from one of the first teachers to walk the halls of Lewis and Clark, describing her move and many others’ from the Odd Fellows Home, in 1968.

“As months flew by and Liberty had grown to an overload capacity,” the letter states, “I would move to the next new school to be built. ... Wow, what a contrast from the Odd Fellows Home, state-of-the-art everything.’”

In the letter, Bryan describes the planning process of naming classrooms, hallways and offices. During the time, staff also planted gardens, designed a school flag and wrote the school song, taking pride in what they were building. Bryan wrote that Lewis and Clark set the gold standard for innovative building design.

“Until the move, that class had to share a classroom at Odd Fellows Home with another fourth grade due to space concerns. With just movable partitions in our old building to semi-separate us, we felt quite upscale to fold and unfold a complete wall at Lewis and Clark. ... We took pride in showing and sharing. The spirit of teamwork nurtured at Odd Fellows easily transferred to Lewis and Clark.”

Hiser was impressed by the parallels between the school of 50 years ago and today.

“You’ll see common spaces,” he said. Lewis and Clark is still a leader in education, Hiser said, adding that the school focuses on four Cs: creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. Lewis and Clark also was recently named a launch school for Project Lead the Way. Project Lead The Way is a provider of STEM education for elementary, middle and high school students emphasizing critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving.

“Student voice and choice is interwoven through many aspects of today’s building,” the principal explained. “Lewis and Clark students, they know they are home at Lewis and Clark.”

Education Editor

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