Countless Wakarusa Valley students, both past and present, gathered at the Lawrence school Sunday afternoon to celebrate the elementary’s 50th anniversary. Photo albums, posters and old yearbooks lined the school’s gym, allowing those attending to walk down memory lane.
The event was bittersweet for many people, because the school will close after this school year. The Lawrence school district expects to save $500,000 with the closure.
Kathy Chaney’s husband and children attended Wakarusa Valley. She says she’s sad to see the school close after all these years. “I’m so sad,” she said. “Wakarusa is a totally different community and it’s not going to be the same for these kids.”
Phyllis LaRue taught at the school for 21 years and returned to Wakarusa Valley Sunday, to say goodbye. “We’re sorry to see the school close, but everybody will make the best of it and move on,” she said.