Arts magnet school hosts Centennial Celebration

It was standing room only in the Fishweir Elementary School auditorium May 19 as alumni sat elbow to elbow with current students, faculty and supporters in celebration of the 100-year-old neighborhood school.

After Principal Kimberly Dennis opened the program, a Mayoral Proclamation was delivered by Dr. Charles Moreland, director of community affairs. The Dance and Drama Ensembles performed excerpts from the period-appropriate musical “The Music Man” under the direction of Cecilia Futo and Claire Futo.

Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin (aka Betsy Ross Lovett and Mark Cruickshank) made an appearance at Fishweir Elementary School’s Centennial Celebration May 19.

Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin (aka Betsy Ross Lovett and Mark Cruickshank) made an appearance at Fishweir Elementary School’s Centennial Celebration May 19.

Guest speakers included former Principal Andrea Akers, former Congressman Cliff Stearns, Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission Supervisor Joel McEachin, and Scott Adams, manager of Willowbranch Library. Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin also made guest appearances, courtesy of Betsy Ross Lovett of Ortega and Mark Cruickshank, Fishweir fifth-grade teacher.

The program ended with a ribbon cutting by School Board member Lori Hershey and Superintendent Dr. Sheree Cagle commemorating the new tile mosaic wall across the school’s front lawn. Under the direction of Art teacher Maria Escriba, students and staff created clay fish, then placed them in grade-level “schools” so that each student could easily find their own fish. A time capsule was buried under a marker for the mosaic wall, which took over four months to complete.

While Fishweir alumni checked out the Archives Room and picked out their class photos, Amanda Royce shared the story of her family’s four-generation attendance at the school.

“My grandmother, Faye Murray Armes, who is 90, graduated in 1939 from Fishweir,” said Royce. “My parents, Bruce Armes and Marci Fowler, met here in first grade and graduated in 1961.”

Although Royce did not attend Fishweir, her brother, Matt Armes did for a year or two. Her children, Alicia (5th grade), Bo (4th grade) and Ethan (3rd grade) all attend the school where she works as Fishweir Volunteer Liaison. “I was the only one in four generations who did not go here,” she said, noting the family had moved around a bit during her elementary school years.


By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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