In 1976, when Draper Elementary opened mid-school year, students formed a “moving day” brigade and carried their own tote trays up the street from the old Draper Park School to the new building where the school resides today.
It’s a moment recorded in photos and now part of the 40-year-old school’s lore and, for Head Secretary Marian Broderick, an example of the school’s close ties to the community.
In her 21 years at Draper, Broderick has seen seven principals come and go and generations of children. “Some of the kids I watched grow up are now bringing their own kids here to school,” she says. “They’ll come in and say, ‘Oh, you’re still here,'” which is kind of embarrassing, but I love it.”
Broderick remembers the “open classroom” era when there were no walls and partitions and bookcases were all that separated one class from the next. Her own children attended Draper, though back when the school was year-round.
Draper has exploded in size, and the demands upon teachers today are much different than they were 20, or even 10, years ago. But what hasn’t changed is the school’s commitment to student achievement, a responsibility that the community has always helped shoulder through donations and the tireless support of parent volunteers. “That’s what I love about my job. I get to know all these kids well and their parents,” says Broderick. “It just feels like a big family.”
On Monday, March 14, the Draper Elemenatry community came together again to commemorate the school’s anniversary. Cake was served and live entertainment was provided by the school’s choir. The event doubled as an art gala to showcase the collective works of Draper’s students, which isÂ appropriate considering the central role that art has played in the school’s history.
- When Draper opened, the school inherited an art collection that over the years has grown to include: a Norman Rockwell original “Ichabod Crane,” a piece by Utah artist Greene Richards titled, “Spring Fancies,” and an untitled mountain scene by Bob Ross of PBS fame.
- Forty years ago, Draper City’s population was 5,000; today it exceeds 45,000.
- The school cost $1.9 million to build.Â
- School staff, teachers, the PTA and students helped pack boxes in preparation for moving day.