Frontier Elementary Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

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A decade ago, the first students were bussed for the first time from Julia Randall and Payson Elementary schools to the three domes of the Frontier Elementary School.

On Oct. 20, 2006 the school celebrated its 10-year anniversary.

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On Friday, Oct. 20, the students and teachers of Frontier Elementary School celebrated its 10-year anniversary.

"Frontier's biggest success is the community (it has) created," said Payson Unified School District superintendent Sue Myers.

Myers was the principal of FES when the school first opened its doors.

There was no playground, just dirt as a play surface for the 420 students.

The Amon family donated playground equipment in memory of their son, Chance, a first-grader who died in an accident.

Back then, the dome walls, bare of acoustical panels, Character Counts pillars, art and photos of students that pad noise now, always rang with a loud echo.

The rooms were chilly. Carmelita Locke, the music teacher for the past 10 years, said she brought space heaters in so her students could sing in warmth.

The library held 1,800 books and no decorations.

Today, more than 20,000 books reside on its shelves, many acquired by parents and staff purchasing extra books at scholastic fairs.

There were 15 certified teachers at FES in 1996. Now, there are 25 teachers, 50 staff members, yet still 420 students. There have been as many as 460 students.

"Students are our focus," current principal Gail Gorry said. "We struggle together when there is a death and celebrate together when there is victory. We are a family here."

The wolf was chosen as Frontier's mascot during the first year. The wolf howl as a cheer soon followed.

The anniversary was filled with loud and spontaneous wolf howls all day long.

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