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In 1958, Jefferson County opened 18 new schools to keep up with the county’s booming population growth.
One of those schools was Lakewood’s Glennon Heights Elementary School. And on May 3, 60 years after its opening, current principal Bill Stidham invited past and current faculty, students and families back to the school, 11025 W. Glennon Dr. for a trip to the past.
“We’re honoring 60 years of excellence in central Lakewood,” Stidham told the nearly 100 people who attended the anniversary celebration. “I’m a math person, and I’ve been some calculations, and I believe this school has impacted the lives of 22,500 students, staff and family members over the years.”
The celebration brought attendees back to the era when the school was first opened, and included some classic cars, sock hop dance, and a hula hoop contest. It was also a chance for all attendees to get a peak at school’s history.
According to research done by Sandra and Kendrick Killian, the original Glennon Heights building was divided into eight regular classrooms and a kindergarten, as well as a library, kitchen/cafeteria, administrative offices and a gym. The school has been upgraded several times over the years and has maintained a vital role in its neighborhood.
Here are some of the best things we heard at the event:
“We’re one of the oldest schools in Lakewood, and when we first opened, everything around us was dirt roads. Lots of things have changed over the years, but the soul of Glennon Heights doesn’t change.”
-Principal Bill Stidham
“What makes a great neighborhood is our schools, and as mayor, there’s rarely a place I go in Lakewood where I don’t mean someone who went to school at Glennon Heights. I’m thrilled to be here to kick off another 100 years.”
-Mayor Adam Paul
“When I was here, I learned to work hard, because nothing in life comes free.”
-Barb Saltzman, who attended the school starting in 1959
“Life was a lot more innocent at the time — we could walk to school by ourselves or spend the whole day outside. It was just a great time.”
-Lesley Watson, who attended the school starting in 1959
“I loved that Glennon Heights was a barrier free school, and I even moved just four blocks away so my seeing eye dog and I could walk to work every day. It’s a great little school for this community, with a great staff that takes the job seriously. But, we also had a lot of fun.”
-Marge West, teacher from 1970 to 1997. She was selected as State Teacher of the Year in 1994.
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