High schoolers reminisce about Barton Elementary School
By Beth Williams, Current Staff
The Bobcat will soon become extinct in this area. No, not the animal – the mascot of a local elementary school.
After the current school year is over, Barton Elementary School will close as part of the district’s restructuring plan. This school, which has been open since 1923, has served numerous generations of students, or Bobcats.
Many Barton alumni now attend East and West High, and they still carry childhood memories with them. For a majority of its former students, Barton was not only the place where they received their first education, but where they made their first friends, too.
Former students seem to remember the activities unique to the elementary school the most. Some of these activities include the Barton Bobcat Basketball Battle, a basketball game played by the school’s faculty, and the fifth grade field trip to Madison and the Cave of the Mounds.
Most notably, the second grade circus is often recollected. Every year, the second graders created their own circus and performed it for their parents. East sophomore Megan Swope, who attended Barton five years ago, got to be one of the monkeys in the circus.
“I had just gotten a scooter and really wanted to ride it in school, so when my teacher asked if anyone wanted to be a monkey that rode a scooter, I volunteered,” Swope reminisced.
Barton also prepared its students for middle school. By offering a wide selection of clubs and co-curriculars, the school gave its students an opportunity to learn more outside of school while having fun. In addition, these clubs and co-curriculars, such as Safety Patrol and Student Council, enabled Barton’s students to see what they liked to do before they entered middle school.
For Michael Metz, who is now a West junior, Young Astronauts was the best club. His favorite memory from this club was the egg drop, where the club members created devices to protect their eggs from the impact of landing after being thrown off the school’s roof. Fortunately, Michael’s egg survived.
Of course, the Barton staff will be missed the most.
Katie Krantz, currently a senior at West, fondly remembers two of her former teachers, Ms. Spaeth and Mr. Kainz. She enjoyed being part of the prank battles that took place between them. Katie especially liked the prank that her class played on Mr. Kainz for his 39th birthday.
“We hung up signs all over the school that said ‘Mr. Kainz is over the hill’,” said Krantz. “He was really insulted. We didn’t understand what ‘over the hill’ meant, but all of the teachers thought it was super funny. We felt smart about doing it.”
Most of the Barton staff has found employment for next year in other parts of the school district.
Barton Elementary School will be greatly missed. The school, along with its staff, taught its students the value of friendship, education, and joy. Although the building itself will close its doors and be sold, Barton will live on in the memories that generations of students made there.
(Photographs by Beth Williams, Current Staff.)