SUMMIT, NJ - Monday was a dreary day in Summit, the students of the Washington School were hardly in a bad mood.
In the gymnasium the current students as well as past teachers, students, and parents all gathered to celebrate the school’s 100th Birthday. Students donned “100 glasses” that they had created especially for the celebration. Throughout the day, the students as well as the teachers remained full of energy and after singing the school’s Alma Mater, the celebration began.
The celebration began with words from Principal Lauren Banker and former Principal Carol Friend. The proud principals went on to explain that the children as well as the adults would understand how Washington School came to be a great place to learn.
Friend, who was the principal during 1989 through 2002, explained that during her time at Washington School she began many traditions that many of the students currently take part in. Through the dialogue between Banker and Friend the students as well as the older audience were able to remember the “old” Washington School and the many changes that the students as well as past students now have. Some changes were their new rock climbing wall in the gym, a mural encompassing the 1913 Washington School to the 2013 Washington School, and the many service projects that the students took part in. The mural was the largest change to the school that would be around for years to come. In the hallway near the library, the mural showed the transition of the Washington School of 1913 in full color which the students painted alongside the teachers for 3 weeks, which moves along a timeline of pictures. The other side of the hallway shows the Washington School of 2013 full of vibrant colors and smiling painted faces of students.
After the explanation that Friend and Banker gave to the audience, they played a slideshow that showed the Washington School at its beginning in 1913 with pictures from classes in 1913 to the current classes of 2013. The slideshow also encompassed the current students, who loved seeing themselves on the screen. The slideshow displayed the Washington School as a very active school community which was also seen by the students singing along to the music in the slideshow. Their Washingtennial, as students and teachers referred to the celebration, was all about being proud of their school and the many changes that have made the Washington School so successful.
Before the actual birthday party began, student representatives from each class brought up items that would be included in a time capsule that would be buried at the schools next Field Day in order to leave something for the “Washington School of the future,” as Friend said in her dialogue with Banker.
As the birthday/dance party began for the students and teachers, the students were extremely excited and proud of their school and how far they had come as a community within the walls of the Washington School. As Banker explained, the Washington School brightens up the already bright and close community of Summit in a way that teachers and students of past and present can celebrate through coming together to celebrate their schools rich history and warm atmosphere with the greater community of Summit, especially through birthday celebrations that everyone from 6 years old to 60 years old can enjoy.