A golden age celebration


A carnival atmosphere pervaded Mountain View Friday evening when hoards of community members stopped by to share birthday well wishes.

It was the 50th anniversary of the local elementary school, and student, staffers and alums were determined to mark the occasion with a bang. Along with food trucks selling wares ranging from pulled pork sandwiches to cupcakes to breakfast platters, there was also an array of child-friendly activities and midway-style games.

There was a 1950s theme to the celebration, so many attendees showed up in retro duds like poodle skirts, cuffed jeans and scarf-bedecked ponytails.

The occasion began with a flag ceremony with Boy Scout Troop 407 serving as the color guard, led by Eagle Scouts Cody Schock, 18, and Doug Mendelsohn, 15, on bugle. The Mountain View Girl Scout troop took to the stage singing “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” Students from each grade then performed golden oldies, beginning with the kindergartners’ rendition of “Lollipop.”

Next, it was time for presentations by campus luminaries.

Current Mountain View Principal Clara Dehmer praised the school for its diversity and family-like sense of community. Leonard Munter, founding principal of Mountain View, quipped that the crowd had gathered to celebrate theYankee 3-1 win over Baltimore earlier in the day.  Nancy Arce, Mountain View’s first PFA president, noted that the inaugural PFA had helped plant all of the trees at the school, including the towering pines.

While the songs and remarks went well, there was a small hitch to a subsequent ceremony. Ms. Dehmer and Mr. Munter had planned to release 50 butterflies over the heads of spectators and onto the Mountain View field. Given it was one of the coldest evenings of the season, the insects seemed reluctant to leave the cozy box in which they were held. With some coaxing from Mr. Munter, the butterflies eventually made their exodus and the crowd dissolved, heading for the food trucks or various carnival attractions.

Those in attendance offered high praise for the school, including Brandi Burns. Ms. Burns has 2 generations of Mountain View children. Her  2 oldest kids went there in the 1990s and now she has twin 3rd grade daughters who are Mustangs as well as members of the school’s Girl Scout troop.

“They couldn’t be anywhere else,” she said. “This school is beyond belief. It’s completely awesome. We’re a crazy quilt. We are everyone and everything. One of the best lessons here is to be accepting of all kinds of people, which gives you a broader base from which to deal with life.”

Perhaps the festivities—which included an arts and crafts booth, a wheel of fortune game and a photo booth with costumes and props—inspired them, but the kids in attendance were equally enthusiastic about Mountain View. 

“I like it because when it’s the 50th anniversary, you get to throw pie at your teacher,” said 7-year-old Jasmine Gardia, referring to a booth where takers were encouraged to hurl a whipped cream-topped sponge at intrepid volunteers from the Mountain View staff.

“I like Mountain View because it’s cool and the teachers are nice to you,” added Ken Corbajal, 7. 

—Sarah Torribo




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