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Southwest Orange Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 5 months ago

Keene’s Crossing Elementary opens time capsule

Each grade level contributed something to the box before it was sealed in the school’s inaugural year.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

The student-led morning announcements Monday, Jan. 27, at Keene’s Crossing Elementary School included more than the typical school events, weather report and word of the day. A 10-year-old time capsule — kept in a glass cabinet in the media center — was opened by Principal Sherry Donaldson.

Administrators, teachers who have been at KCES since the inaugural school year and PTA representatives crowded into the TV production studio as Donaldson revealed the contents of the box. Each grade contributed something.

There was a pamphlet from the fifth grade performance for Veterans Day, a photo of the inaugural second grade class, a photo of the cafeteria dedicated by the fifth graders, a puff-paint T-shirt with the names of the first graders, a photo of the entire kindergarten class, a laminated copy of all the third graders’ names, a scrapbook put together by the fourth grade classes, an American flag and a red poppy.

Teachers and staff react to one of the items pulled from the time capsule.

The time capsule was sealed after the school celebrated Veterans Day 2009, and the top had a metal plate that requested the box not be opened until Nov. 13, 2019. The school elected to open it on the 100th day of school.

“I thought the contents of the time capsule were amazing, especially putting it all in perspective,” Donaldson said. “For instance, many of the students have either graduated from high school or are in high school at this time. The memories of 10 years ago was an exciting moment for the school, especially for the staff who helped create them.”

Donald expects teachers will incorporate this moment into their lesson plans.

“Teachers can have discussions with students about where they see themselves in 10 years,” she said. “What often seems like a lifetime away really is not; therefore, setting goals each year within those 10 years creates forward-thinking leaders. Teachers can also use the example of students who placed items in the time capsule 10 years ago and discuss where those students are now and how they got there. This helps students make connections to realistic experiences that they may someday achieve.”

Students have been making suggestions on what items should be placed in the time capsule, which will be reopened in a decade. Some wanted to place a chess piece in it, and others thought drawings of themselves would be a good addition.

“They are all really intrigued by the fact that it stays in the capsule for 10 years,” Donaldson said.

She’s hoping to include pieces that represent the culture of the school from our PTO, volunteers, staff, students and community.

“There is so much, such as chess, pieces of art, pictures of events … that I would love to see,” she said. “That's when you know you work at a great place.”

The next time this capsule will be opened is 2029, a date Donaldson has trouble grasping.

“Wow — saying it makes it unbelievable!” she said.





Amy Quesinberry is the community editor of the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She was born and raised in Winter Garden, grew up reading the community newspaper and has been employed there as a writer, photographer and editor since 1990....

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