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Parklane ES celebrates 60 years of history, change
by Christine Fonville
August 28, 2013 12:22 PM | 2463 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye / 
From left, Parklane Elementary Assistant Principal, Teresa Mitchell, and Principal Greg Fields, get ready to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the school Tuesday night.
Staff / Katherine Frye / From left, Parklane Elementary Assistant Principal, Teresa Mitchell, and Principal Greg Fields, get ready to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the school Tuesday night.
As Parklane Elementary School in East Point celebrated its 60 year anniversary last Tuesday, the school’s transformation since its opening in 1953 was a main point of focus for speakers and guests in attendance.

“Over the years, the school has really changed with the advancement of technology in the classroom,” Principal Greg Fields said.

He said new classroom tools such as white board technology in almost every classroom and a school media center with a television studio used to broadcast daily announcements are just a few examples of how the school has transformed over time.

“However we’re still traditional in some aspects, like our school uniform policy which gives a sense of consistency to our students,” Fields said.

The event was held at the school and current as well as former students, staff and community members enjoyed a presentation of academic achievements, a celebration of the school’s history and a reception.

Guests were “invited to share memories and walk the halls of their alma mater,” school system spokeswoman Susan Hale said in a statement.

School board member Catherine Maddox shared some of her favorite memories about the school.

“A couple of unique and interesting things about Parklane is that one time it was an year-round school and the school started a great partnership with the Atlanta Ballet, who still mentor our children,” she said.

Tammy Harris, a historian for the school and former student, discussed the physical changes to the building from what she remembered since attending the school in the mid-1970s.

“It’s been remodeled a few times over the years and the only remaining pieces of the building from its original 1953 structure are the cafeteria and the stage,” she said.

Harris also recalled fond memories of her time at the school when she was in the seventh grade.

“I can remember doing performances on that stage and enjoying our teachers teaching us about a variety of subjects including art, sports and music because there were no specialists in these areas when I went to school there,” she said.

Fields, who has been the principal at the school for four years, said he appreciates the surrounding area’s ongoing involvement.

“Generations of families have attended Parklane for many years and have made this a true community,” he said.

Fields said the staff works diligently every day to keep the close community feel of the school.

“I think our staff, students and residents have always had a clearly established level of respect and trust with one another and that is something I value highly at Parklane,” he said.

When it first opened, Parklane only served the immediate, surrounding communities.

Today the school enrollment is about 500 students and serves prekindergarten through fifth grades

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