Saturday was a day of memories and hope for the future.
Ormond Beach Elementary students came to school on Saturday to celebrate a special day – their school’s 100th birthday.
There were students who attended classes in the 1940s and others that were in class the day before who joined past and present school staff on Saturday, to plant a tree, bury a time capsule, tour the school, play games and have fun.
The school is located on Corbin Road, named for a local businessman and developer of the U.S. Settlement known as New Britain, Phillip Corbin, who donated the property in 1887. It was called the Ormond Public School, a single floor structure. Ten years later a second story would be added.
“That used to be the library,” Betty Anne Edson, who taught at the school in the early 1980s, said.
Edson found room 207, the room where she first taught the fourth grade.
There were tears as those who remember Michael Penland, a 6-year-old student who died in 2015; listened as Michael’s mother Amy Penland spoke about her son's love of the school, before a sweet magnolia tree was planted in his memory.
“Michael was born with half a heart and died of cancer,” Penland said. “This was the one place he wanted to be, at school. If he were here today he would be running around doing everything, especially riding the train. He loved trains.”
Penland and Michael’s grandmother Anita Banks, who attended with her husband Mickey, put the first shovelfuls of dirt around the base of the tree. As they did, the Ormond Beach Stars sang one of Michael’s favorite songs, “Fight Song.”
A few feet away a time capsule filled with student work, photographs, a school T-shirt and other school memorabilia was placed in the ground. Daijon Baisden and Lilly Fox shoveled the first layers of dirt onto the plastic tub not expected to be opened until 2117.