Ken-Ton district saying goodbye to 3 schools

Posted at 9:08 AM, May 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 12:30:54-04

Three schools in the Ken-Ton School district will close their doors at the end of the school year part of a two year consolidation plan approved by the Board of Education.

The district has seen a huge decline in student enrollment and has suffered from cuts in state aid through the years.

In 1965 the district enrolled 22, 350 students but this year only 6,923 enrolled.

The three schools closing at the end of the year include Kenmore Middle School, Roosevelt Elementary and Hamilton Elementary.

Teachers and staff of the middle school said the closures are bitter-sweet.

"It's been wonderful. I feel like I grew up as an adult here," said Jane Stevens a 7th and 8th grade English teacher who's spent 17 years at the middle school. "It's been my whole career so far and it's been amazing. We're excited to celebrate this milestone but it's hard to leave friends and colleagues."

Stevens said with each year that passed she not only learned how to become a better teacher, but a better parent and person from all that she learned from her students.

Mary Metzler was a student at Kenmore Middle School and has worked as a teacher aide at the school for the last five years.

"We have such an amazing staff here. It's unbelievable how dedicated they are to making the kids learn and grow," said Metzler.

She is one of more than 40 teacher aides who's unsure of what the future holds. Metzler said she is the only aide in the district who knows and helps teach students braille.

"It's sad but with the enrollment down, what can you do," said Metzler.

The middle school was built in 1923 and harbors lots of unknown history. Matt Fleming a 19 year custodian at the school said if the walls could talk they'd have a lot to share.

"The school has been through the Great Depression, World War II and 9/11," said Fleming. "It's seen nine decades of history."

Friday the school will celebrate saying goodbye with food trucks, performances from alumni chorus members and current chorus members plus the band.

Students will dress in costumes that represent the school's history from one decade to the next. The school will also display old photos and memorabilia.

Friday's celebration starts at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, May 21st anyone 21 and older can attend a gala at Banchetti's by Rizzo from 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. For ticket information click here.

On Saturday, May 21st Roosevelt Elementary will have a celebration from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about the closings click here.