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Annetta Carpenter leads the school in singing happy birthday to Arizona while holding a cake in the shape of the state. Each of her middle school students created a graphic to put on a T-shirt.

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Celebrating Arizona’s 100th birthday Tonto Basin school style

Tammy McLellan’s kindergarten class turned to listen to the fourth- and fifth-graders recite Marshall Trimble’s narrative describing the five C’s of Arizona’s history — copper, cotton, cattle, citrus and climate. “My class turned around when the fourth- and fifth-graders said the five C’s, they thought I made that up,” laughed McLellan. On the stormy morning of Feb. 14, Arizona’s 100th birthday, Tonto Basin school children and many of their parents gathered to celebrate the centennial together. A short 40 minutes away from Payson, the 80-student rural school of Tonto Basin is worlds away from the larger district. Because of the family atmosphere of the school, little touches, like cookies decorated with the star emblem of Arizona connect each student to the theme of the day.

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