RT MediaMogul - шаблон joomla Авто
Southlawn students, staff share fond memories PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 12:01



• Leader & Times

The new buildings with the bond project are nearing completion, and with the construction of the new buildings, that means the community will have to say goodbye to some old buildings.

Southlawn Elementary School is one of the buildings that will be closing after this school year and will be used as the upcoming new Bright Start Early Learning Center. With the school having been part of the community since the mid-1950s and seeing many changes, many memories have been made throughout the years. 

“There were many, many wonderful teachers who I worked with and many classes of students,” former Southlawn teacher Emma Maxwell, who taught in the building for 36 years, said. “It’s interesting how when I go to some of the businesses, I see some of my former students working at them, like the president at Community Bank was a student of mine, one of the realtors here in town. I’ve seen a lot of them grow up here, and it’s been great seeing them. I just loved the students and I enjoyed teaching them, and the people I worked with were great as well.”

“I liked when around Thanksgiving, they did the turkey bowl.,” current Southlawn Elementary School student Tatum Selby added. “This is the best school I’ve ever been to. I’ve been here for two years and I think it’s cool.”

Construction on the school began in 1954, with the land having been donated by John W. Baughman. Since then, many changes have been made to the building, from construction of new rooms to who the principal was. 

“Ed Reed served as principal of McDermott and Southlawn until the 1959-1960 school year, when Don Hill became principal,” a history of the school in the 1991-92 school year yearbook noted. “There were 300 students at the time, so grades one through six attended split sessions from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and then 12:45 to 5:45 p.m.” alt

The history also noted five classrooms were added to the south side of the building in 1966 thanks to a donation of land from Mr. and Mrs. Fred Matkin and Mr. and Mrs. J.N. McMichael, and then only a few years after that, more rooms were added to help complete that annex area. That annex area was further changed in later years when the annex area and the main building became connected. With the new buildings coming, current Southlawn Elementary School Principal Gloria Quattrone, who has worked at Southlawn Elementary School since 1997 and will be retiring after this year, said it is a good thing. 

“The best thing about closing so many schools is the district will get five brand-new buildings,” Quattrone said. “They’ll be spacious and will have capacity for everyone, more room. Everyone will have a place, so that’s the exciting part of the five new buildings. The construction of the new schools is the end result, and I’m very pleased the students will have nice, spacious classrooms. Knowing this school will be used for the preschool students is awesome. It’s an enclosed building, parts of the building are relatively new. Compared to where they are now, they’re going to be much better off being here in this building.”

The feeling of excitement regarding the new buildings has also spread to staff and students at Southlawn Elementary School. 

“I’m excited for the changes happening in the district, and the new buildings that will be opening up,” Southlawn Elementary School 3rd grade teacher Michelle Martin said. “I think the way they’re arranging the schools to be kindergarten through 5th grade will be very beneficial, and I think the all-day kindergarten is going to be a great thing.”

“I’m very happy, I’m happy more kids are going to learn. I’m just really happy about it,” current Southlawn Elementary School student Enrique Machuga added. “But I’m also kind of sad, I’m sad it’s not going to be here anymore.”

“Yeah, and a lot of kids don’t have to learn like with the old schools where they could only study in the hallways,” Selby added. 

Overall, it has been quite a ride for the building. 

“It’s quite a change in the system and all that. I’d be interested to see the new buildings, I’ve not yet been inside one of them,” Maxwell said. “I’ll be interested if I ever get an opportunity to go inside one of the new schools. I don’t fully know what all changes took place while I was teaching here, and I only know things I’ve heard about as far as changes since I’ve retired, because I haven’t been back here really since I retired. I worked under four principals while I was here. Don Hill was the first one, then Milton Hughes, then Curtis Beer, and then Beth King, they were all wonderful principals while I was here.” 

Throughout the school’s time in the community, there were many different favorite things among staff and students. 

“The families. I’ve seen many members of the same families come through here, and I’m starting to see the third generation,” Quattrone said. “The staff, working with the staff and my peers and colleagues, I’m going to miss them, and that’s going to be across the district. All the certified staff will be working with new colleagues and new individuals, which will be a good thing. I’ve enjoyed working with the families on this side of town. I’ve seen many siblings come through here, and it’s been great.”

“I liked Field Day and how we got to jump in the bounce in the bouncy houses,” Machuga added. 

“Yeah, and I liked how we got to learn about a lot of new teachers and how they like to do stuff,” Selby said. 

Overall, it is definitely a feeling of excitement as the district moves foward into the future.

“I just have memories of all the students from the past several years, they’ve all been good memories,” Martin said.

“I’m actually going to be retiring, but it’s nice to know our students will be in brand new buildings with plenty of room, and all the professionals will have a place to work,” Quattrone said. “They won’t be off to the side on the stage or in a closet, they’ll have their own space, and it will all be great.”




About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

For more, contact us.


Get the Daily Leader delivered to your home for $101.45 per year in Liberal, or $140 outside Liberal. Call 620-626-0840 for a subscription today. You can receive the print edition or an electronic edition! To subscribe today, email circulation@hpleader.com.

RocketTheme Joomla Templates