BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Tuesday was the last day of school, ever, at Boardman’s Market Street Elementary School.
About 100 people lined the walkway to applaud the last students to ever attend Market Street Elementary.
“Not happy with it but we hope for the best,” said Wendy Potts, a parent.
Students and staff were met with applause and tears from guests and parents, grateful for all the good the school has done over the past 67 years.
“Oh yes, we had a great day today. We had a picnic and now we got to do the clap out. So yeah, it’s pretty special,” said Jenny Cline, another parent.
“It’s pretty powerful. You see parents tearing up and you forget the emotional ties to this building,” said Boardman Superintendent Tim Saxton.
With the clap out over, students left the building for the final time, their small feet taking them to life’s next adventure.
The hallways were already lined with items ready to be moved and the library was filled with boxes.
“Today is bittersweet. It’s a little sad,” said Eve Russo.
Russo and Julie Kamenitsa each spent 35 years teaching at Market Street Elementary, and now they’re retiring together. They talked about how the school has always been like a family.
“That’s what it is, the Market Street family,” Russo said.
“That’s why it’s so hard to leave. As many good things as we have coming up in our lives after we leave here, it’s always been a family,” Kamenitsa said.
The staff loved it when fourth-grade teacher John Depietro decided to lay on his arm for the final staff picture ever at Market Street Elementary, all of them dressed in shirts that read, “Departing for new adventures.”
Lynn Janis grew up nearby and watched as the school was built. She was a student the first year it opened in 1952 and then taught kindergarten there for 24 years. She wanted to see it one last time.
“I feel sad about the school closing, but I know changes have to come and things like that. Market Street will always have a very special spot in my heart,” Janis said.
On Saturday, June 29, the school will open one more time to let community members take one final walk down the halls. At 10 a.m., the walk-through will begin. At 11:30 a.m., there will be a program, followed by the building’s last time lowering its flag.