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Thursday, 29 June 2017 08:00

Schuler School farewell draws individuals of all ages

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Former Schuler teachers Marion Schmidt, left, who taught from 1963-64, and Elvire Necker (nee Eberhardt), who taught from 1961-62 share stories. Former Schuler teachers Marion Schmidt, left, who taught from 1963-64, and Elvire Necker (nee Eberhardt), who taught from 1961-62 share stories. Photo by Rose Sanchez

The halls of Schuler School were packed June 24 in the afternoon as former students and staff and community members gathered to take one last look at the current building which is set for demolition in a few months.

They also had the opportunity to tour the new $7.5-million Kindergarten to Grade 9 school which has been built right next to the old school on what was the playground. The keys for the new building were turned over on June 23 and staff have been busy the past few days moving items over into the space as they wait for the delivery of the new furniture set for mid July.
Those in attendance at the event included former teachers, parents and even students who spent their formative years in the building. They were able to reminisce, leave their signatures on a graffiti wall and pick up some memorabilia. The community association offered up food in the community hall, offering a quiet and cool place to sit and visit.
Principal Jason Duchscherer said the attendance on June 24 was unbelievable and the numbers took him by surprise.
“We have Kindergarten kids to eighty to ninety-year-olds,” he added.
When the staff received the key to the new space, some of the students were able to go into the building and take a look around. Duchscherer said those students “went crazy” over the space, which includes a large gymnasium with a high ceiling, classrooms with sinks and cupboard storage space,  a commercial kitchen and food preparation areas for classes.
Thanks to fundraising by the community and a few larger donations, new furnishings for the school have been purchased so only a few large items from the old building have to be moved over and the technology pieces such as Smartboards.
Duchscherer believes the old building could be torn down as soon as the end of September and then the work will begin to erect the playground equipment which has been stored, on the spot where the old school stood.
The afternoon also offered a chance to raise a little more money as Cathy Bauer, with the Schuler parent council, sold raffle tickets for a quilt she sewed. People purchased squares with which to build the quilt and one lucky ticket holder was set to take it home. The money will be used where needed in the new school.
Bauer wanted to give back as local quilters use the school space for their craft.
Chloe Herman attended Schuler School from 2002-2012 and she was adding her name to the graffiti wall with some friends.
“It’s pretty emotional,” she said about the day. “But exciting at the same time. This place was like another home.”
Elvire Necker (née Eberhardt) taught in the school from 1961-62 and brought her yearbook from that school year to share with others, including fellow teacher Marion Schmidt who was at the school in 1963-64.
Necker arrived from Germany as a young teacher, and remembers fondly that Schuler students didn’t make fun of her when she made mistakes with her English, and instead offered tips to help her improve her skills.
“The school actually looks nicer now than when I was here,” she adds, referring to the fact a modernization with new windows and cosmetics made for a new school after she no longer taught there.
She also still has and uses a recipe for butter horns she got from the mother of a student — Leroy Goehring — who she was thrilled to see at the event June 24 although it took a bit for them to recognize each other with the passing of the years.
Schmidt was also excited to see her former workplace and tour through the new school building.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor