By Stephanie de Lesseps
Members of the Countrywood Primary Center community, both past and present, took a step back in time June 8 as the school celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Over 50 friends, family, guests from the surrounding community and alumni gathered in celebration of the milestone opened a 25-year-old time capsule, which contained emblems of the school’s history and fond memories.
The celebration not only involved the rediscovery of the 1990 time capsule, but also included speeches from distinguished guests and the sharing of stories and memories of the guests’ elementary school years.
The event opened with a welcome from South Huntington Superintendent David Bennardo followed by a few words from Countrywood alum, New York State Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci (R-South Huntington), who spoke fondly of his time spent attending the school.
Before unveiling the 1990 time capsule, Fran Hyde, a former Countrywood assistant principal, read a letter. The letter, which was addressed to “the future,” was written by the Countrywood students and faculty who had filled the capsule 25 years ago.
“Whoever is reading this letter is going to share in the lives of those of us who are burying a time capsule on June 8, 1990 to mark the 25th birthday of our school,” the letter read. “We want you to know about life in our time. We also want to touch the future.”
Hyde, along with former principal Emily Rodgers, then opened the capsule.
Inside, they found relics that included a Snow White script, copy of the school song, a picture of then-President George H. W. Bush, class videos and a t-shirt from the class of 1990. These items sparked conversation among friends, as they reminisced.
Soon, it was time for Countrywood’s current kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade students to fill a time capsule of their own, which was buried on Wednesday.
The 2015 capsule will be opened in 2040 in celebration of the school’s 75th anniversary. Contents of the new capsule included student-sung recordings of songs from Disney’s “Frozen,” the video game “Minecraft,” a book from the popular children’s book author Mo Willems, CDs of class plays from the school year and student-written reflections.
The students closed Wednesday’s ceremony by singing Countrywood’s song, reading the new letter to the future and burying their time capsule – a tradition which school officials intend to carry on.