The Legacy of Grandview
When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens
By: Lexi Wright
Grandview School has played a pivotal role in changing the lives of its staff, both in their educational careers but also on a deeply personal level. It began as a two-roomed school house in the spring of 1951 and now, 66 years later, has transitioned over to Escuela Vista Grande. Founded on the value of caring, Grandview is leaving behind a beautiful legacy and for many staff members leaving the school, Grandview will always carry with them the most sentimental of memories.
A little bit of history...
Grandview Elementary School was first constructed in 1951. Originally called Mountview School, Miss Mary Morrison was the very first Principal of Grandview Elementary who served 1951 to 1984. Grandview School was modernized twice before the 1989 renovation and extensively remodeled to meet the needs of students living in the Grandview, Rosedale and surrounding areas.
Grandview had a 2017 population of approximately 300 students from pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5, drawing in students from the communities of Downtown, Grandview, Michener Hill, and Rosedale.
June 30th, 2017 marked the official last day for Grandview Elementary students as the school will now become a Spanish Bilingual School known as Escuela Vista Grande.
Memories of Grandview
There's an emotional piece to Grandview’s transition that is simply part of change. It is true that staff, students, parents, and even former students are connected with Grandview in a lot of different ways. Here are some closing thoughts from former Grandview staff:
Bob Barthel - Principal of Grandview from 2012-2017
“One of the questions I asked when I first came to Grandview was, 'what is one word you would use to describe the school?' and the word that came up more than any other was caring. That’s the thing that distinguishes Grandview for the students who come here - what does it mean to care? We talk about caring for ourselves, caring for the work that we do, caring for the environment, caring for our families and traditions, and caring for each other. Those are our five themes to correspond with our school logo of five books. We actually recognize two students every day who have demonstrated one of the five pillars of caring. They get a certificate that we hang up in the hallways and at our assembly's we publicly recognize those kids for caring. Yes, there's some sadness around leaving that but there's also opportunity in it. That's just the way it goes sometimes.”
Shauna Kadar - Grade 3 teacher at Grandview
"I've been teaching for 17 years, and of those 17 years I've spent 11 at Grandview. Grandview has always had a very strong culture of caring for kids and caring for each other. I think the most important thing that I've learned at Grandview is building relationships with students, families, and staff. I came in not knowing anybody at Grandview and I feel like I'm leaving with some of the strongest friendships of my life. A staff member once told me, Grandview is like your favorite pair of jeans, you just put them on and they fit. I'm leaving with that same ideology. It's just been a really good time in my life”.
Karen Ryan - Administrative Assistant at Grandview
"I'd been at Grandview just over 10 years. It is sad as we're packing our boxes and saying goodbye to everybody. We have a very close-knit group of people here but my experience at Grandview has been amazing. I love interacting with the kids and that’s my favorite part about my job”.
Rita Di Placido - Principal of Grandview from 2007-2012
“I loved being with the students in fact, so many times somebody would phone and I was never in the office because I was always out with the students. I just think it's valuable to create those kind of connections with the staff and students in the school. I can only speak from my five years here but I've certainly seen tremendous respect and growth with children. We really worked on reading and writing and making that a forefront of everything that we did. We worked hard on math skills as well, knowing the importance of numeracy. Even with the transition, we're all reaching for the same goals. We're all headed in the same direction and that value of caring will carry over with Grandview no matter where our students and staff go”.
Loretta Winia - Administrative Assistant at Grandview
“I was a secretary at Grandview for over 20 years, that's a long time. It's quite amazing, just seeing the growth of students and even the demographic changing as more and more students enrolled. The thing is, time marches on and you have to make the change. The staff has always been very close-knit here. You build relationships with staff and students and those are invaluable friendships. Everyone here is a friend to me”.
Turning a New Leaf
Students and staff celebrated their bittersweet departure from Grandview with one final goodbye ceremony on June 15th, 2017. The assembly included a hoop dance performance by Teddy Anderson and an extremely heartfelt moment when two students from Grandview Elementary passed a torch onto students from Escuela Pines, formerly becoming Escuela Vista Grande. Rather than focusing on the change as scary or saddening, the entirety of the school left with lifted spirits. There is no doubt that Grandview has influenced the lives of many. In the coming years, Grandview's legacy of caring will move forward with each student and staff member, no matter where their lives take them.