The Alamosa Park Elementary PTA celebrated 30 years of educational excellence at the school’s recent Spring Fling. PTA parents Holeigh Holmes, Jamie Martinez, and Liz deBaets gathered a crowd of over 200 who enjoyed playing, dancing, and eating on a lovely spring afternoon. Principal Cindy Anderson joined the dancing and then greeted the crowd, thanking parents for their volunteering and for being part of the Alamosa family. Nancy B Jones welcomed families, teachers and staff and shared a few memories of years as the campus buildings were developed, moved into year-round education with smaller class sizes, embraced the companeros program, and worked with a great group of principals. The school garden has been growing since 1995 and is still used for an after-school hands-on enrichment experience.
The Alamosa Park Elementary school time capsule from 1987 was opened and displayed for the event, including writing from students predicting the future, staff and class lists, and 2 floppy disks – high technology in those days! The time capsule will be refilled by current students and staff writing to future students describing their lives today, and installed in the school’s cornerstone at a later re-dedication ceremony.
Teachers, staff and students gathered to re-connect at the event. Five original “pioneer Happy Camper” staff members from 1987 – Luann Engstrom, Lorette Perkins, Carol Morton, Lori Hill, and “Mr. Nick” Henry – are still working at the school, and “Farmer Jones” is still working with students in the school garden. Other original teachers from 1987 who are now retired joined the reunion and shared memories of the challenges of opening an “instant school” : Elizabeth Plunkett, Cathy Roswell, Noelle Cablay, Linda Pupols, Susan Ferraris, and Kriss Stewart. More past Alamosa teachers joined the celebration: Jennifer Cervantes, Linda Rath and David Servetter, along with current teachers and staff who helped greet and serve pizza.
Students who attended the first years of Alamosa Park Elementary also enjoyed the event and the time capsule memories: Melody Pupols, Darah Velarde, and Alison Lewis – with their second-generation Alamosa students. Darah Velarde commented,” I was there when they buried it and my kids are there when they open it- that’s awesome!!”
“What I enjoyed was the real spirit of unity and excitement as we did things for the first time, and decided on a school mascot,” shared original teacher Margaret Welch. “An exciting year. The first day of school a backhoe hit the water main. People ran out and bought cups and big bottles of water. Twice rattlesnakes turned up on the playground. It rained huge amounts that year, but there were no covers on the walkways. I bought boots.”
Linda Larsen remembered: “We had the open house prior to the first day when parents could visit the school. We were tripping over all the huge electrical cords and wondering if we were going to open on time. But somehow we did.”
Susan Ferraris recalled, “We had all the school supplies and long tables stored in our (4th grade) rooms! It took them half a day Saturday morning to clear our rooms out!”
Lori Hill declared,”We were like pilgrims and ‘happy campers’ – lots of great memories! Go Hawks!”
Dr. Kyle Ruggles, past Principal of the school, complimented: “Your work certainly makes a big positive difference for the Alamosa Park community.”
Alamosa Park Elementary in the Vista Unified School District is located in Oceanside