The value of a neighborhood school: Celebrating 100 years of Paxson Elementary

Skylar Rispens

This school year is Paxson Elementary School’s 100th birthday.

Over the last century the building has obviously changed, as have the staff and students that fill the classrooms and hallways each passing year.

“But what has remained the same is that feeling of community and that closeness that we have together,” said Petey Torma, a fourth-grade teacher at Paxson.

Torma has a pretty good read on the school and its position in the community — in fact the school has been in her orbit for over 30 years now.

“I just remember it always felt so great to be going to this school because it was like everyone in the school were friends you saw out and about at the parks and who you’d been friends with before school started,” Torma recalled.

She first stepped foot into the school in 1988 as a kindergartner. Now, she’s at the school as a teacher and mother, whose current classroom is the site where she herself attended fifth grade. Her oldest child, Tallis Parkey, attends first grade at the school and her daughter Luna will begin kindergarten next year.

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