Henry, a fourth-grader in Ms. Haderlie’s class, admitted to being “pretty sad” about saying goodbye to Bell View Elementary at the end of this school year. “I really love this school,” he said Friday afternoon during an open house to celebrate the Mustangs’ educational home since 1966.
That feeling is shared by the nostalgic alumni, staff and faculty who attended the school over the decades and returned for a stroll down memory lane, and by teenagers in the Sandy community who decorated the concrete of the school’s spacious entryway with adorable and sentimental chalk drawings and messages the evening before this event.
“I will miss Bell View,” Aleena wrote underneath a cute blue heart. Another chalk message indicated, “We all love Bell View.”
Students have been saying that about the Home of the Mustangs since 1966 when the school first opened its doors and the minds of bright-eyed young kids.
Bell View students will continue attending their cherished school until the school year ends. They will then join students from neighboring Edgemont at their beautiful new school, Glacier Hills Elementary, this fall.
“Tonight, we’re saying goodbye. And after tonight, we’re saying hello to the Yetis,” Bell View principal Tamra Baker said while greeting visitors as they entered the school. “This (event) is for the whole community to be able to come in, see what we’re doing, be able to walk around, see the classrooms they sat in when they were a kid, and say hello to old friends and maybe make some new ones as they move on to Glacier Hills. It’s kind of a fun event.”
Guests were free to roam the halls and classrooms, pick up free educational books being given away in the gym, reminisce through old yearbooks and picture books, view a collection of Bell View T-shirts from over the years, indulge in free cookies, watch a slide show, buy commemorative shirts, and spend time with friends, new and old, in a place near and dear to their hearts.
Kallie Turner and Danielle Jacobson, who attended Bell View through 2012, first met in Miss Johnson’s first-grade class 15 years ago. They’re getting married in June, so they weren’t going to miss this opportunity to visit their old stomping grounds.
“This is where we made all of our good friends,” Kallie said. Added Danielle, “Too many good memories.”
More fun memories are in store up the road at Glacier Hills, of course. Henry’s eyes lit up when he was asked about his soon-to-be new school. “I’m super excited!” Part of that excitement stems from the Yetis’ already-popular nickname and mascot. Henry approves. “I’m so excited to see Blizzard!”
Principal Baker was assigned to Bell View for the 2021-22 school year to help the school wrap up one era. The building will host Diamond Ridge, an alternative high school, and CSD’s adult education program, Entrada High, beginning in July.
“It’s been really fun to be here,” said Baker, who praised the “incredible” staff at Bell View. “It’s an honor to be the last principal.”