Students, parents and staff of in Clayton celebrated the institution's 100th birthday Friday evening with circus performers, cupcake-decorating and a proclamation from the city.
Visitors also brought more than 100 birthday boxes and gift bags containing such items as cake mix, frosting, decorations and candles to benefit .
"I think we are even measurably more together now," said Head of School Thad Falkner, describing how faculty, students, parents and other community members reacted after . He has led the school for seven years and worked there 13.
Friday's party happened at , which is hosting classes while renovations are made at Wilson's DeMun Avenue building. Students are expected to return to their building this fall.
An before the fire, and the school community remains excited about the project. Renovations will pay tribute to the work of William B. Ittner, the architect who built the original school in 1916.
Among the highlights of the renovated building will be the Innovation Room. It will be open to all students and promote project-based learning. The room will feature a wall with a video screen with which students will be able to interact with educators and experts and take virtual field trips.
As the school's second century begins, Falkner said, will continue to emphasize character and service projects. Its motto remains Make Your Mark A Good One (MYMAGO). Rather than promoting a single pedagogy, staff use tried-and-true educational methods while embracing cutting-edge practices, he said.
At the faculty level, investment in professional development for teachers will remain a focus. Those teachers, in turn, will work to make sure students receive the attention they need to feel known and secure.
"We will continue to hold onto how important it is for a child to enjoy their childhood," Falkner said.
Ward 3 Alderman Alex Berger III read a proclamation from the city commemorating the 100 years. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for .
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