Cooper celebrates 40 yearsCooper Elementary School, established in 1970, turned 40 years old this year. To celebrate the anniversary, a program was held at the elementary school on Tuesday, October 26, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
By: Kate Bergum, The Spartan Spin
Cooper Elementary School, established in 1970, turned 40 years old this year. To celebrate the anniversary, a program was held at the elementary school on Tuesday, October 26, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Traci DeMeyer, vice president of the Parent Teacher Association, was present for the celebration. According to Demeyer, students and current Cooper staff members were present to reflect on the history of Cooper Elementary. Old pictures and other memorabilia of the school were displayed, and past staff members were introduced.
This time of remembrance also reminded many of how Cooper has developed over the years.
The building itself has undergone changes. Cooper once had two gymnasiums. Now, the smaller of the two has been made into classrooms. The library, which used to be one open space, has also been broken down.
Though the Cooper building has changed, many of the school’s ideals remain the same. Third-grade teacher Sheri Alexsevich has been teaching at Cooper for 22 years. After looking at original goals of the school, Alexsevich saw that many of the principles are still being applied.
“It’s interesting because many of educational components of the ‘70s are being reintroduced today,” Alexsevich said.
DeMeyer, who went to school at Cooper in 1975, can attest to the similarities of the past and present-day Cooper.
“A lot of the standards are very much still there,” DeMeyer said.
Now, as a Cooper elementary parent and member of the PTA, DeMeyer said she believes that Cooper is still a great place to go to school.
“Cooper is just as special today as it was when I was there 30 years ago,” DeMeyer said.
Sophomore Aly Mentzel, who went to Cooper, said that teachers were very supportive and helpful.
Maureen Dzikonski, parent of freshman Nicole Dzikonski, said that the Cooper staff made a positive impact on her daughter’s elementary experience.
“(The Cooper faculty) is very helpful,” Maureen Dzikonski said.
Both Dzikonski and DeMeyer said they felt that the staff members of Cooper made sure that all students would be ready to move on to the middle school.
“I think that their experience at Cooper made them very prepared for middle school,” DeMeyer said.
Another part of Cooper that has remained strong is the PTA. Throughout the years, the PTA has sponsored activities for students, such as field trips and the annual End of the Year Carnival.
“The PTA is one of the steadies throughout the years,” DeMeyer said.
Students, staff and parents have favorite memories. Sophmore Haley Evasku recalls library read-alouds and school assemblies.
Maureen Dzikonski said her favorite memories included the yearly Christmas concerts. Dzikonski said that so many people attended the concerts that finding seating was a challenge.
“If you didn’t get there early, you’d have to stand outside in the hall,” Dzikonski said.
Sue Johnstad, an SHS assistant librarian, worked as an assistant librarian and PTA president of Cooper. She said she has two favorite memories about Cooper. One of them was her youngest son’s Cooper Elementary graduation. During the slide show of pictures presented, Johnstad said she cried.
Johnstad also said that students made bookmarks on one staff appreciation day. Johnstad received one saying something like “Mrs. Johnstad, thank you for checking out books,” which she said she still has.
“It was so cute,” Johnstad said.
Sophomore Dayelle Davis said she had a good time in general during elementary school.
“Those were the best six years of my life,” Davis said.
Alexsevich said that teachers are proud of their former Cooper students.
“It’s always fun at graduation time to see how past Cooper students have excelled,” Alexsevich said.
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