Celebrating a century of learning in Lexington

02/02/2013 12:00 AM

02/01/2013 11:33 PM

The trees have grown much larger along the grounds where Lexington County youngsters first walked the schools’ halls in 1912.

Several Midlands area schools have marked 100-day milestones this week, but Lexington Elementary students, faculty and community members had another reason to celebrate — the school’s 100th birthday.

Sitting just a hundred yards or so from the original building that once served all grade levels, the school held a birthday-themed luncheon celebration spiced with alumni visits, decade-themed attire and history presentations.

“This school has a strong heritage and these students are a part of it,” Lexington Elementary principal Jim Hamby said as students listened to stories about the school’s history from former and current teachers and students.

Friday’s celebration included several participants whose connections to the Lexington 1 school span generations. Among them was first grade teacher Susan Woods, who was also once a student like her father Rick Taylor, grandfather Bo Taylor and great-grandfather James Taylor.

Woods said James Taylor attended classes in the original building and traveled to school in a horse-drawn wagon.

“I have a lot of memories here of my own,” said Woods, who started kindergarten when the current building opened in 1984. “It’s really cool to be rooted here.”

First grade teacher Jamie Hudson is also part of a long family legacy at the school. Her mother, Carol Metts (wife of Lexington County Sheriff James Metts) and her grandmother Ruth Richardson both attended the school, and her daughter Isabel Hudson is in first grade there. Lexington Elementary teacher Harriett Easler taught Jamie Hudson when she was in kindergarten.

Friday’s celebration featured a slideshow with old pictures chronicling the school through the years and a history room with old pictures, newspapers, cafeteria trays, microscopes, musical instruments and others items from years gone by.

Fifth-grader Emerson Fite said she’s proud to be part of the school’s long-standing tradition, adding she looks forward to carrying on that tradition.

“I’m excited for my school because I’ve been here since kindergarten and have seen this coming together,” she said. “The people who work here are just like family to me.”

About Bertram Rantin

Bertram Rantin

@bertramrantin

Bertram Rantin is The State's metro columnist with a current focus on the inspirational people and community helpers in Columbia, SC, and the Midlands. Rantin has covered a variety of areas during his tenure at the newspaper including local government, schools, sports, features, transportation, volunteerism and non profits. Email Bertram at brantin@thestate.com or call him at (803) 771-8306.

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