September 16, 2006 in HandleX

Mullan Trail Elementary celebrates 50 years

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Mullan Trail Elementary School has been a part of the Post Falls community for 50 years, though it hasn’t always served the primary grades. It’s been a high school and junior high, and with the current presence of the preschool, the only grade the school building hasn’t served is kindergarten.

On Tuesday, people from Mullan Trail’s past and present will gather to celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary. People from each era of the school – elementary, junior high and high school – will share memories.

“So many Post Falls residents have gone through this school over the years,” Principal Mandy Surratt said. “We have parents and grandparents who have attended this school at some point or another, at some level or another.”

People often stop by the school at random times to reminisce about their times there, Surratt said.

The school has gone through many makeovers since it opened in 1956. The most recent, the remodel of the library, was completed this summer, as was the painting of the outside of the gymnasium. For anyone curious about the changes, the school will be open for tours during Tuesday evening’s gathering.

The ceremony starts at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Mullan Trail Elementary, at 300 W. Cherry Ave. in Post Falls.

Playground honors Lisa King

Attendees of Tuesday’s celebration might notice a new playground structure in place of the wooden structure that had sat on the Mullan Trail playground for years. The new structure is dedicated to Lisa King, the former co-president of the Mullan Trail Parent-Teacher Organization who was killed after being struck by a car in the parking lot of a Post Falls grocery store just days before Christmas last year.

One of King’s goals as head of the PTO had been to raise enough money to replace the structure. After her death in December, friend and PTO co-president Jennifer Beaver decided to continue the project King had spearheaded.

“After the accident, I just said, ‘You know, this is what Lisa wanted, and this is what we’re going to do,’ ” Beaver said.

The PTO raised $10,000 for the structure. That, combined with $10,000 from the Post Falls School District. bought the playground structure that the Mullan Trail Elementary School community dedicated Thursday evening.

“I think if Lisa were here, she’d be saying, ‘Well done,’ ” Beaver said.

Most of the donated money came from local businesses, including Victory Homes, Neighborhood Construction and Viking Homes.

A couple of individuals made donations, but “really, without Victory Homes and Neighborhood Construction, we wouldn’t have been able to get it up this year,” Beaver said.

Though everyone is excited for the new structure to remember King, “It’s a bittersweet is what it is,” Beaver said

Preschool teacher honored

A preschool teacher at the North Idaho College Children’s Center recently was named one of the top preschool teachers in the nation by Nick Jr. Family magazine.

Colleen Taylor has worked at the center for three years. She considers herself a naturalist and visual artist, according to an NIC press release, and uses art to help children create, cooperate and problem-solve.

Nick Jr. Family Magazine, a product of the Nickelodeon cable television network, received more than 500 nominations from parents across the county and consulted early childhood education experts when selecting the top eleven.

The NIC Children’s Center serves children of contracted faculty, staff and NIC students enrolled in a minimum of seven daytime NIC credits.

Get involved

The beginning of the school year is a great way for parents and other community members to get involved in the schools. All schools have open houses coming up, and some are planning back-to-school picnics and other get-to-know-you events. Parent volunteer groups and parent-teacher organizations have started meeting, and all are looking to include as many parents as possible. Call the schools for more information, or look on the Internet. Each school in the Coeur d’Alene district has a web site, accessible from the district’s site, www.cdaschools.org. Many have contact information for parent-teacher organization leaders on their sites.


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