Saturday, May 17, 2003

School celebrates birthday with song

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

WEST CHESTER TWP. - Adena Elementary School will celebrate its 25th birthday with a new tradition Sunday: a school song.

Written by 12-year-old Teddy Sartini, the eight-line song will be performed for the first time during the program that begins at 3 p.m.

What: Adena Elementary School's 25th birthday celebration.
When: Open house from 2-5 p.m., at the school, 9316 Minuteman Way.
Highlights: 3 p.m., program that includes introduction of past principals, teachers, superintendents; debut of school song; displays and pictures depicting school history through events and people.
School song (written by Teddy Sartini):
"Oh Adena, our terrific school,
Where all the kids and teachers rule.
Through the years we've made good friends,
But this is not the place it ends.
From kindergarten to the sixth grade,
We won't forget the friends we've made.
When we're done, we'll wave goodbye,
And then we're off to junior high."
Teddy's poem was selected from 110 written by sixth-graders, said Stacey Pease, the school's music teacher. Pease wrote the music for the song, which will also be played at the school's June 2 sixth-grade graduation.

"We never had a school song before," Pease said.

Teddy said he brainstormed with his mom, looking for words about school and words that rhymed.

"Then I put it together. It took me about five, 10 minutes to write it," said Teddy, of West Chester.

Along with the song's debut, there will be glimpse of the school's history throughout the building. Past Pioneer Day celebrations will be chronicled through photos. The fifth grade decorated the halls with the school's Firebird mascot, said former teacher Lois Schultz, who coordinated the celebration.

A new logo incorporating the mascot with a banner was designed for the birthday celebration.

Schultz, who was at the school when it opened and retired two years ago, will work with the students to write a book about the school's history. Artifacts are being collected now, with the writing to begin in the fall.

Schultz says she is seeing history repeat itself.

"When Adena opened in 1978, it took the strain off Hopewell and Union elementary schools," she said. "When VanGorden opens, it will take the strain off Adena."

Karen Fuchs began teaching fifth grade at Adena as soon as she got her teaching degree - about 16 months after Adena opened - and says she has no plans to leave until she retires.

"I'm the oldest teacher still here," said Fuchs. "The people - my co-workers, the students and the community - have kept me here. The kids still come to school excited and ready to learn. I always tell the kids they're going to bury me here."

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