Salem Grade School to celebrate 100 years with April 24 event

This circa 1930 diploma, book and report card were donated by Mary McCormack, and will be part of the display at the Salem School 100th Anniversary Celebration.

This circa 1930 Salem Center School diploma, book and report card were donated by Mary McCormack, and will be part of the display at the Salem School 100th Anniversary Celebration.

Salem Grade School will celebrate its 100th anniversary at the corner of Highway AH and Highway 83 (Antioch Road) with a celebration open to the public on Sunday, April 24, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The event has been over a year in the planning.

District administrator David Milz has seen the history of the school from a couple of perspectives. He was a student at Salem, a tenure in part memorialized by the tin can trophy his basketball team won in an intramural tournament in 1973. Of all the trophies he won as a young athlete, this is the one he still has and keeps on his office desk, he points out.

For the last 12 years, Milz has been the school’s district administrator, giving him a new perspective.

“It just makes me really proud,” Milz said of the school’s heritage.

The bulk of the collection and coordination of the school’s history has fallen to principal Eileen Bruton. The school has been soliciting artifacts and stories from people and the community has been very accommodating.

“Every time someone comes in and drops something off they have so many stories,” Bruton said.

The celebration event will start off with a short program in the middle school gym, which will include recognition of past staff members present. Those attending will then be able to  go to other parts of the building to see various displays and artifacts. One area will feature games, toys and music through the decades. Along the way there will be refreshments like you might have purchased (if you’re an old enough timer) at Dibbles Store or the King Store in Salem. The celebration will conclude with the staff performance that traditionally concludes the school’s yearly celebration night. Each student will receive a bag of candy old and new.

Milz said hearing the names associated with Bruton’s compiling of the school’s history sparks a lot of memories for him.

“When Dr. Bruton brings up names I personally know a lot of these people,” Milz said.

A time capsule of material from the first 100 years of Salem School history also will be compiled.

“For the 200 year celebration, we are going to give them a head start,” Milz said.

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