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Canton Elementary Celebrates 50th Anniversary
CANTON – The Canton Elementary School celebrated its 50th anniversary on Friday May 27 with a presentation, artifacts, and refreshments. The celebration was open to any former students, teachers, parents, or anyone else who was involved with the elementary school at any point since it was opened in the fall of 1971.
Deb Fitzwater, a former student and a current Learning Support teacher at the elementary school led the planning of the event starting in the fall when the 50th school year started in 2021.
Fitzwater talked about why Canton being a small community is so important, “We’ve all been here long enough that you have that sense of family whether or not you were here 50 years ago or you’ve been here for 20 years everybody has gone through this building. So they know the teachers in this building, they know what it stood for and what they could get from coming to school here.”
Fitzwater also gave the presentation which had many old photos that revived old memories over the 50 years that the elementary school has existed.
Many people gave artifacts which were displayed in the library. There were a wide variety of items including old yearbooks, newspapers, vinyl records, and blueprints of the building from before and during its construction.
Diane Barrett spent her entire career at the Canton School District. She taught in the highschool, but her main titles were Assistant Principal for three years and then Principal for 21 years from 1989 until 2010.
Barrett talked about why one of her most favorite things at Canton is the people, “I had the pleasure of working with so many wonderful teachers, parents, and the students. Through the years I learned so much from all of them, probably more than they learned from me.”
Barrett also added what makes Canton great, “I think a lot of times people think we’re in a small town, our kids don’t have as many opportunities, but I feel like our students had a lot of good opportunities and I would put our Canton students up against any other students when you look at where they’re going, what they’re doing, and what they’re giving to the world.”
Another former teacher who attended the event was Donna Packard who was one of the original teachers when the building opened.
Packard talked about some of her many memories, “I think of some of the funny things that happened. One time I was accused of putting rubber ducks in the pond that was once the theatrette where we gathered for meetings and social events for the children, and the theatrette filled up with water.”
Packard also shared what she enjoyed the most during her time at Canton, “We had a wonderful principle and a united family. There are so many funny things that the children taught me. It was a wonderful experience and I miss the children, but I am enjoying my retirement.”
The Canton Elementary School’s 50th Anniversary celebration served as a reminder of the long history and the positive impact that a small school can have for its community and the entire world.
Videography: Ethan Chabala
Video Editing: Ethan Chabala
Produced by Vogt Media
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