Many previous staff members, students
and parents were present at the dedication ceremony, as were several
members of the District 27 school board and current staff members.
Some things were alike about the
ceremony of yesteryear and yesterday.
The program for the anniversary
celebration included some interesting facts and trivia about the
school. For instance:
Current Washington-Monroe Principal
Rebecca Cecil is the fourth principal the school has seen in its 50
years. The first principal was her husband's great-uncle, Harry
Jackson. Jackson was followed by Robert Taylor and Marge Lowman.
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Mr. Jackson had originally planned to
attend the ceremony on Sunday but was unable to make the four-hour
drive from his home, due to weather conditions. He is currently
planning a trip to Lincoln in the spring and a tour of the school at
Ms. Lowman was not only a principal at
W-M, but she was also the first, and only, female president of the
Illinois Principals Association.
There have been four superintendents
over Washington-Monroe School in the last 50 years. They are D.F.
Nichols, Harry Augspurger, Les Plotner and Dr. Robert Kidd.
Another interesting fact that was
mentioned referred to District 27 school board member Leonard Janet.
He has been involved in multiple roles at the school for most of his
life, having been a student, teacher, parent and now board member.
The building is still very much the way
it was originally. The original construction cost for the whole
school was $583,324.35. This included equipment, fees and general
Superintendent Kidd said a new roof was
put on recently, which cost the district a quarter-million dollars.
Mrs. Cecil said the school has seen a
few changes through the years. For instance, what is now the library
was originally known as the dining room. Students currently eat in
the gym, and the tables are folded away after lunch.
The original projection room has seen
many different uses through the years. It has been used as a
kindergarten room, a Title program resource room, and a BD classroom
before being transformed into its current purpose, a Writing to Read
computer lab for kindergarten and first-grade students.
Several new programs have also been
implemented in the last 50 years, and many other rooms have had
expressed appreciation for the PTO, headed by Kathy Huerd; the
parents; the planning committee; and the teachers at the school,
past and present. She said the school encourages parental