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Libertyville Elementary School closes -- 2017


Posted By: Joey Stark
Date: 6/11/2017 at 15:16:09

"The Fairfield Ledger"
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Front Page

End of an era in Libertyville

Libertyville Elementary School closes its doors Tuesday
By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer

Tuesday was the last day of school for the Fairfield Community School District, but it also marked the last day the doors will be open at Libertyville Elementary School -- one of the oldest schools in the district.

"It's been an emotional day," said Jeff EELING, Libertyville and Washington elementary schools' principal. "We had an awards ceremony today, and it was nice to see all of the kids and parents show up."

Students, teachers and parents donned green Libertyville T-shirts during the final day, and students frolicked in the playground while parents and teachers snapped photos.

EELING said parents organized a meal and helped teachers throughout the day.

"Around 20 to 30 parents showed up today; we've always had quite a few," he said. "Last week when we went to the [Blank Park] Zoo in Des Moines we had about 46 parents and 81 kids go to the zoo -- it's just a testament to our community."

EELING called the bus ride there, "memorable."

The school, which has been a staple in the Libertyville community since it opened its doors in 1892, won't soon be forgotten.

"I graduated from Libertyville in 1958 and my husband was in the class of 1957," said Libertyville resident Judy BROBSTON.

During the early years, the school educated students from primary school through 12th grade.

The original building was torn down in the early 1970s and replaced by the building that stands today.

For years, BROBSTON has organized a Libertyville alumni reunion.

However, this year, she said there wouldn't be one because most of the alumni were older and only a few would attend.

"I'm not going to do a reunion this year. I sent letters out to all the alumni," she said. "The last class to graduate was 1958."

Although BROBSTON isn't happy about the school's closing, she is hopeful.

"I hate it. The biggest thing is when you take a school out of a small town, you take the heart out. I hope it doesn't. There are a lot of dedicated people here who are working for that," she said.

"A little boy who lives across the street from me said 'there's nothing we can do about it, so we have to do what we can.' A fourth-grader said that. To say that is good!"

For now, EELING and his staff are looking toward the future, with changes to grade alike this fall.

"Nine kindergartners are going to Washington Elementary," EELING said adding that two Libertyville teachers would go to Washington, while the other teachers and the rest of the student body would either go to Pence Elementary or the Fairfield Middle School.

Kindergarten -- first grade students will attend Washington Elementary, while students promoted to grades second through fourth would go to Pence. Students promoting to fifth grade will attend Fairfield Middle School.

EELING is hopeful about the change, he said it would bring more unity for the teachers, and forge an even stronger team.

*Transcribed for genealogy purposes; I have no relation to the person(s) mentioned.

Caption: In 1892, Libertyville School opened its doors for the first time. Pictured here is the class of 1905. During the early years, the school went from primary school through the 12th grade.

In the photo below: Libertyville Elementary School's entire student body poses along with teachers and administrators for the last time. The school closed its doors Tuesday, which was also the district's last day of school. Everyone donned green shirts with all of the school's staff and student signatures with a quote on the back that read: "Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory!"


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