Every day, things around us change. Sometimes it is a welcome change: a move, a new job, or an addition to a family.

Sometimes it comes without warning; other times we can try to brace ourselves for a change that we may not want to happen but in the end will.

For 16 years I have picked up my children at a school filled with warmth and friendly faces.

I have watched many children go from tears as they entered the kindergarten wing to smiles as they received their certificate at Recognition Night at the end of eighth grade.

I have three amazing children who stood on the stage to receive that special piece of paper. Principals have come and gone and several very dedicated teachers have retired.

It is now the end of an era. The new school is built and all that is left of Durham Elementary School is a pile of rubble on the front lawn.

My son was in this year’s “graduating” class.

He will now move on to Freeport High. He takes pride knowing he was in the last class to stand in that gym on a special June night.

For the people of our close-knit town, pride will fill their hearts as they enter our modern, well- equipped school.

It was time, time to move on and time for a new school that will be for the community. Our students will move on to a high school that will be unfamiliar, but they are ready.

New friends will ease the change as they adjust to a new school, new teachers and classmates.

As this family looks back over the past years, we will always remember how safe and welcome we felt every time we walked through the doors of Durham Elementary School.

It was a school where the teachers became our friends and the staff always cared about our children, which is something that will not change as the new school year starts and the new school opens.

Modern, yes, but still welcoming, without a doubt.

Changes are also happening at the school where I teach.

After many years our principal retired, and an aide who always brightened our days will no longer greet us in the hallway with her beautiful smile.

We all look forward, but know that changes may occur.

The unknown is not easy, but as in Durham, we will adjust, move on and keep our memories of past days in our hearts, always.


– Special to the Telegram


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