Summit Park Elementary School students, faculty and alumni will celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary this week.
Thursday, Nov. 10 featured an anniversary event for students, who reflected on how school life has changed over the past five decades and talked about the future of both the school and community. Each grade decorated sections of the school’s hallways to reflect a specific decade. Additionally, vocal music teacher Jennifer Skidmore led students in a musical performance covering songs from the 1960s to the modern day.
An event for alumni and current and former staff will take place on Sunday, Nov. 13 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Current students will rehash their choral performance, and a reception will include memories and pictures from the school’s history. Planning for the event started in the spring, and former students are traveling from all over the country to attend the celebration.
The school has changed drastically since it opened in 1966. “It was a very small school when we were there,” said Emily Goren, who attended Summit Park from 1966 through 1970. “There were two classes for each grade, with maybe 16 children in each class. To this day there is a special bond with all of us who went to Summit Park, and we still keep in touch with each other.”
Marc Komins, who began first grade at Summit Park in 1966, said, “Without a doubt, what I treasure most about Summit Park are the lifelong friends that I still have. Even though it has been 50 years since my class’s graduation, there are about 20 classmates that I still speak with on a weekly basis.”
Summit Park is like a big family — many staff and alumni have relatives who also attend the school, and the school’s community of alumni and families are tightly knit.
“My favorite memories have been watching the kids grow from kindergarten through fifth grade and then when they return from high school to visit,” said Betsy Goldstein, a fourth-grade teacher who has been at Summit Park since 2003. “Summit Park is a true neighborhood school with involved families.”
Goldstein’s twins also attended the school. “Some of my favorite years were when my own kids attended Summit Park,” she said. “I loved that my school ‘family’ got to know my children. They were so fortunate to have the best teachers, which I already knew because I worked with them every day!”
Komins’ two oldest children also attended Summit Park, and even his daughter is working at the school this year. “Summit Park has been a big part of my life throughout the years,” he said.
“We have all shared many happy occasions together,” Komins added. “Weddings and the births of our children and even grandchildren. And on the flip side, we have always supported each other through tough times such as family illnesses and even funerals. One thing is for sure, we have always been there for each other, and for that I will be forever grateful.”
For more information or to RSVP for the Nov. 13 reunion event, contact [email protected]