On Friday, September 28, Brookhaven Elementary School in Placentia celebrated its 50 year anniversary with a special morning assembly for students and an after-school ceremony for families and community members.
The campus first opened its doors in 1968. Named after the street on which it is located, the school was built with an open-space interior to accommodate large and small groupings. It was considered a California State University, Fullerton laboratory school. The administration and teaching staff worked closely with the university staff incorporating the latest educational trends.
To get in the spirit of the celebration that day, students and staff members dressed in 60s attire to pay tribute to the decade Brookhaven opened. Many also wore special 50-year anniversary spirit wear featuring both a buffalo and a bear, the school’s old and new mascot.
During the morning event, Principal Julie Lucas welcomed the entire campus in attendance and introduced honored guests including Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) Director of K-12 Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Andrea Norman, as well as guest speakers and Brookhaven alumni James Harman and Cory D’Arrigo. Buddy Bear also made an appearance!
Both Mr. Harman and Mr. D’Arrigo shared important themes surrounding leadership, community, and Brookhaven pride with the young Bears.
After school, Brookhaven families gathered in the school’s multi-purpose room and outdoor area to continue the festivities. Both were decorated with photos and memorabilia from across the decades including large collages. The display reminded those in attendance of Brookhaven’s rich history and traditions.
That evening, Principal Lucas welcomed and thanked those in attendance including PYLUSD Board of Education President, Carol Downey, and Deputy Superintendent, Candy Plahy. She also shared more history surrounding the school and its strong roots in the community.
“We have many legacy families at Brookhaven as well as so many current and former staff members who have chosen to send their own children to Brookhaven,” Lucas went on to say. “That speaks volumes about a school.”
Later in the evening, Tuffree Middle School’s marching band, under the direction of teacher Jim Hahn, performed for the families in attendance.
The event finished with a showing of Mary Poppins for Brookhaven families to enjoy together on the school’s blacktop.
The 50th anniversary event was made possible in large part by the school’s supportive PTA. Congratulations and happy anniversary, Bears!