In more ways than just recent weather patterns, the wares of one local school district's fundraising efforts have it beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
With two new schools to be in use for the 2013-2014 school year, and two old ones to be demolished, the PTA of Austintown Local Schools' four current elementary schools are offering the community a means of remembering the district's schools of yore with its ornaments fundraiser.
Becky George, a member of Watson Elementary School PTA for four years, shared that the district's new elementary school will house its kindergarten, first, and second grades, while the new intermediate school will offer the sixth through eighth grades. Both schools will be operational for the 2013-2014 school year.
"We'll all be on one campus now," said George, who added that this school year began early for Austintown, and with a shortened Christmas break and an intended end date of May 17, Austintown Schools students will return after Labor Day with the new schools ready. At that time, in the new elementary facility, every grade will have its own principal, George added.
With the arrival of the new schools, George said the four existing PTAs disbanded, nominations were made, and a newly elected board is already in place. Serving as a fundraiser for the new PTA, George said the members have been selling the nostalgic ornaments, which picture every school ever in the Austintown School district, since the beginning of the school year through the PTAs at Watson, Woodside, Lynn Kirk, and Lloyd Elementary Schools.
Sharing that she has four children at Watson, George said of her first-grader and three third-graders, "They are excited but anxious about having the school torn down with so many memories in it.
"I'm very sentimental," said George. "I wanted people to have this as a touchstone."
In addition, George said community members will have the chance to be in attendance at "A Farewell to Watson" set for 5 p.m. May 9, at which preserved memories in the form of the ornaments will be available, and visitors will have the opportunity to tour the school.