James Dukes students in Ramona celebrate school’s 25th anniversary at time capsule party
By Karen Brainard
Students, faculty, parents and administration at James Dukes Elementary School commemorated the school’s 25th anniversary by filling a time capsule that will be opened in 25 years.
The event was held outside at the school on June 6. Principal Paige Schwartz said that former PTA President Russ Gennaro suggested the time capsule idea.
“He got the ball rolling,” said Schwartz.
John Ward III, owner of Lite Stone Concrete, donated the time capsule as well as three benches and six trash cans, Schwartz said as she extended appreciation to Ward’s son, Carson, a kindergartner at James Dukes.
Second-grader Thomas Brackman read his history report on the late James Dukes, the school’s namesake. Brackman said Dukes was a rancher in Ramona at the turn of the century and also worked as a carpenter and a beekeeper. He helped the community by sitting on the school board, Brackman said, and in 1920 served with Olive Peirce, whose name graces Ramona’s middle school.
The elementary school was named after Dukes because he worked hard to make education better for children in Ramona, explained Brackman. His report and a picture of Dukes were placed in the capsule.
Students from each grade read papers about where they see themselves 25 years from now. Those students were kindergartner Kennedy Denny, first-grader Ethan Tran, second-grader Becky Burns, third-grader Matthew Silva, fourth-grader Kyle Dodd, fifth-grader Jared Brown and sixth-grader Blake Seits.
The students talked about being married, having children, some even having grandchildren by then, their hobbies and their future careers. Silva said in 25 years he will be a good heart surgeon who will help people and will find a cure for heart disease. The papers were added to the capsule.
Schwartz said she hopes those students will be back in 25 years when the time capsule is opened to see what they wrote.
Other items placed in the time capsule by students and parents were newspaper articles, yearbooks, the school’s “Coyote Chronicles” newsletter, and PTA items. Schwartz, who is leaving as principal at the end of the school year, was assisted by her successor, Pauline Leavitt.
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