Community celebration planned for Fishweir

Community celebration planned for Fishweir
Lucile L. Ross was principal at Fishweir Elementary School when Gynelle Johnson’s 36 sixth grade students posed for this 1958-59 class photo.

From humble beginnings as a four-room school built on a cow pasture in 1917, Fishweir Elementary School today attracts students from all over Duval County as a visual performing arts magnet school and feeder for LaVilla School of the Arts.

This month the school celebrates 100 years of education with festivities planned for Friday, May 19, beginning at 5 p.m. The community is invited to join the celebration.

In preparation for the anniversary party, Inclusion Teacher Katherine Brantley has been collecting memories and memorabilia from alumni since early this year. The 100th anniversary celebration is sure to be a trip down Memory Lane for alumni.

“My six years’ stay at Fishweir was nothing but fond memories,” said Bob Sanders, who graduated Fishweir in 1946. “It started in the first grade with Mrs. DeGraffenreid. She was a great teacher with lots of patience.” Sanders said his sixth-grade year was the best, when he was in the School Boy Patrol.

John Layton, another Fishweir alumnus, graduated in 1945 and remembered Mrs. DeGraffenreid as a strict teacher, who didn’t allow talking in class unless she asked a question.

“I remember her well,” wrote Layton, of Avondale, “and her nature-walking tour to her home on Glendale Avenue to look at her big azaleas.”

Former Avondale resident Raymond King recalled how strict Mrs. DeGraffenreid was, writing “she hollered at me one time for peeking around when our eyes were supposed to be closed during prayer. That was 77 years ago and I have dared not to peek ever again.”

Ten years after Sanders, Layton, and King attended, former U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw of Riverside attended in the 1950s and was a School Boy Patrol captain as well as president of his fifth-grade class.

Fishweir School Boy Patrol

Fishweir School Boy Patrol

 

Fishweir School Boy Patrol

Fishweir School Boy Patrol

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