Students And Staff Bid Farewell To The Year

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It was the last time the bell rang at Bryant Elementary, one of three schools closing.

The last day of school also marked the end of the school's legacy.

"This is a neighborhood school that's been around for a long time so this is a sad day for everybody," said Lisa Williamson, parent.

Parents, teachers, students, and staff felt a roller coaster of emotions during the last day of school. Many were excited to begin the summer, yet sad to bid farewell to the school.

"The staff and the principal, just everybody here, have such a caring feeling for the kids. So, we all are going to miss Bryant Elementary a lot," said Williamson.

Teachers like Susan Rothwell said it was hard to believe the school she spent 24 years teaching special education will soon be vacant. The program will move to OK Elementary.

"We have the slogan, 'We'll be OK, at OK.' As parents have come in and they've been emotional, that's kind of what we've just clung to that," said Rothwell.

Several students and teachers held back tears as a chapter in their lives came to an end.

"Almost everyone has dealt with all of the difficulties of this non choice change," said Principal Dave Saunders. "The staff has done amazing through it, have been very strong."

They have remained strong for the students so they can begin a new chapter in the fall.

"I think they're ready. They've been prepared. They've done well. The teachers have worked hard and the parents have handled things well," said Saunders.

The first day of school for Wichita Public Schools is August 15th. Enrollment begins on July 30th.

Bryant, Emerson, and Lincoln Elementary schools will close. The Mueller magnet program will move to Isley and the Mueller building will also close. The Northeast magnet high school program will move to the new building under construction at 53rd Street North and Rock Road.

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