Oak Park, Marine, Withrow elementaries enjoy last school year

Infographic by Emma Salmi

The 2016-2017 school year will be the last year for these schools. With the school year coming to an end, past and present students, staff, and families are cherishing the time they have. All three schools are looking to make the best of the situation by enjoying long-time school traditions, along with celebrating the time they have had at the school.

Throughout the history of each elementary, the schools have developed certain aspects that make them special. Marine has found it important for their students to utilize the school’s ice rink, forest, snow shoes, skis and more. Not only do these give the students the ability to experience different things, but it also allows the school to create a strong bond, and build the town’s sense of community.

Teaching in a school where you know – truly know – the children and families at all grade levels is unlike anywhere else”

— Cathy Wegener

First grade teacher at Marine elementary Cathy Wegener said, “Teaching in a school where you know – truly know – the children and families at all grade levels is unlike anywhere else. Children feel connected at Marine.”

Like any school, each elementary has also developed their own special traditions. At Oak Park some highly enjoyed traditions are the school walk-a-thon, 5k run, and the annual 6th grade trip to Wolf Ridge. Wolf ridge is an exciting trip for 6th graders because they get to spend a week up north doing different outdoor, winter activities with all their classmates.

6th grade teacher at Oak Park elementary Sue Pater said, “I have kids come back year after year and share those memories of what a special place Wolf Ridge is. We get so used to each other in the classroom setting that when we are up there in the woods kids get to see each other in a different light.”

Many times a school becomes an important part of the community as it can bring a community together. Withrow elementary has shown to play an important role in bringing their town together over time.

First grade teacher at Withrow Alane Stickan said, “I am hoping that, as we all move to our new learning environments, each one of these students, their families and our staff finds that same sense of belonging that we all have felt at Withrow.”

Oak Park, Marine, and Withrow elementaries have all played large roles in their communities. Each school has had a beneficial impact on the students, families, and staff that will last them a lifetime.

Pater said, “It will be hard, a school is an anchor in a community.”