Decorations and cheers mark school’s anniversary
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 26, 2002
There was a special birthday in Albert Lea Monday, but not for a person: Hawthorne Elementary School celebrated 50 years of service.
Tuesday, February 26, 2002
There was a special birthday in Albert Lea Monday, but not for a person: Hawthorne Elementary School celebrated 50 years of service. Streamers, balloons, banners and a display of school memorabilia greeted visitors at the front door.
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The first day of classes at Hawthorne was Feb. 25, 1952.
Principal John Piotraschke was primarily responsible for getting Monday’s celebration organized, but he had help from Harlan Bang, a friend and former principal at the school. Teachers and other staff helped out, too, with information packets and special activities.
But even armed with foreknowledge, the date came up more quickly than he thought.
&uot;I knew it was coming up, so I called over to the Historical Society to get the exact date,&uot; said Pio-traschke. He had heard that the school opened up in late February or early March.
&uot;But I thought it was going to be in another week, so it kind of snuck up on us,&uot; he said. They’ll continue the birthday celebration during their all-school picnic later this spring.
Monday, students started the day with cupcakes and a rousing chorus of &uot;Happy Birthday to Hawthorne&uot; in the cafeteria. Students were also in charge of creating the party decorations, and took time to hang balloons and posters on the walls, and streamers from the ceiling. Students also assembled a huge paper chain, containing the names of every student, which snaked down the first floor hallway.
Hawthorne School was under construction for a year and a half, and cost a total of $635,280. It was built as part of an $850,000 bond issue approved by voters in 1950. Kraus-Anderson of Minneapolis was the general contractor.
The official name of the school at first was Northside Elementary School, but even before construction began even board members were referring to the school as Hawthorne. The name was eventually chosen in a contest.
Although improvements have been made over the years, the school still looks pretty much as it did when it opened. And it’s still filled with kids, reading, playing and learning.
&uot;It’s funny to think about time and how things have changed and still stayed the same,&uot; said Piotraschke.