by Carol Stevens
GARDNER- Gardner School held their twenty-first annual one- room schoolhouse event, ironically, on November 21. To rekindle days of yore, this day is set aside each year for the children of Gardner School to experience what school was like back in the day. Prior to the 1950s, Gardner School was the high school for the area. Other schools in the area were the K-8: Talpa Farisita, Chama, Rahn, Malachite, and Pass Creek. During the 1950s, Gardner School was consolidated with Re-1, which made the former high school the one location for K-8.
The theme of this year’s one-room schoolhouse was “Tall Tales.” The students and some of the staff came dressed in the attire of the turn of the century. The children learned of Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill, and Slue-foot Sue, just to name a few. Each classroom was a one-room schoolhouse with a different project. Teaching at Talpa Farisita was Brent Davis, Chama had Pecos Bill (Liz Schneider), Gardner had Schoolmarm Cathy Cordova, Rahn had Slue-foot Sue (Pam Levie), Malachite had Theresa McCain, and Pass Creek had Linda Jardine. The teachers taught children of various ages from first grade all the way to twelfth. If there were children of different age groups who were siblings, they were placed in the same classroom. High school students who have graduated from the eighth grade come back for this event. Principal Julia Marchant said that the favorite part for the high school students who attend is recess and coloring.
The event is open to all Huerfano County residents. A hospitality room was filled with goodies and refreshments for the visitors. Each year, members of the Historical Society as well as local senior citizens come out. Since the one-room schoolhouse induction, Gardner High School alumna Velma Schecter has always visited, but she missed this year due to health reasons. Schecter graduated from Gardner High School in 1945.
After all the day’s activities for students, staff and visitors, a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings was served.