Olympic View’s last day a mix of emotions

Olympic View principal Kathleen Cornelson Smith handed out tissues in the office Thursday morning. They were decorated with frogs and reserved for a day brimming with emotion.

It was the last day of the school year for all Bremerton students, but for the Cubs it would be the last day at their beloved school.

“As you move forward remember to view yourself as a scholar and that’s who’ll you’ll be,” Cornelson Smith told her students.

The 379 children in grades K-5 gathered in the gym that morning to close out a tradition. The watched a memory slideshow, highlighting the horseplay, homework and happy times throughout the year. But it was more like thumbing through a family album as students squealed with delight and teachers laughed wiping away tears. Then they watched the presentation again. They sang, got to their feet and danced to shake some of the energy that comes from knowing summer is just hours away.The Bremerton School Board voted in April to close the district’s oldest school. A projected $1.2 million shortfall for 2004-2005 spurred the decision. The students will attend Armin Jahr Elementary School and View Ridge Elementary School next year.

Students initially took the news hard, but have since adjusted teachers said.

“Knowing who’s going with them makes a difference. They’re not alone going to a new school, there will be 100 going to a new school,” said Susie Scott, P.E. and math teacher. Scott will teach fourth grade at View Ridge next year.

“I’m looking at it as a new door opening. It’s not an end but a beginning,” she said.

Office manager Dottie Prouse has been at the school for the past 15 years and will transfer to Bremerton High School.

“I’ll be looking up at (students) instead of looking down at them,” she jokes. In between finding safety pins and answering phone calls. “I’m going to miss it,” Prouse said.

Allison Johns, a clerical assistant at the school, also attended Olympic View. Ironically, she went there for a year when the old Manette store was closed. In the fall she’ll be at Mountain View Middle School.

“We’re kind of all being blown to the wind,” she said. At the assembly students had the chance to share their favorite memory. They also went throughout the school gathering signatures in their memory books.

“There’s lots of memories,” said Barb Herron, first and second grade teacher. “We all pull together like a big family,” she said.

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