OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – Dozens of alumni and former teachers and administrators said their final farewells to Webster Stanley Middle and Elementary School in Oshkosh on Wednesday night.
The district will demolish the building in June to make way for a new school building (Menominee Elementary School). They are holding two open houses to give people an opportunity to walk the hallways of the building one last time before the demolition occurs. The second open house is on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The district built the school in 1953. In 1965, it underwent a classroom addition, followed in 1980 by a library/instructional materials center addition. In 1992, the school added a gymnasium and classroom and in 1997 the building received its latest classroom addition.
Mary Schmitt and Jewel Kempinger were two of the people who showed up on Wednesday night. They were part of the very first eighth-grade class at Webster Stanley Middle School back in the 1950s.
“We were in the same homeroom, and we happened to sit right next to each other,” the said.
They said that the school is a lot bigger than it was when they attended. They still remembered many of their teachers and even the location of their lockers. They even saw some of their old friends growing up at the event.
“To say goodbye and to say thank you to a school site that has brought so many opportunities for our community over the years,” said Superintendent Bryan Davis with the Oshkosh Area School District when asked why the district wanted to host this event.
In a fun photo opportunity, current Webster Stanley principal Kristy Levy took a picture with former principal Julie Conrad (2010-2012) and Elliott Moeser who was the principal here for five years in the 1970s.
“It’s a great school and people can be very proud of its legacy,” said Moeser.
Moeser said what he remembers most about his time there was the dedication of the teachers and he said he loved getting to mingle with the kids during his time as principal. He remembers all the lake flies when they’d take the kids across the street to the park on Lake Winnebago for outdoor lunches and gym class. He also said his old office hasn’t changed a bit since he left.
He said although he understands that the district is getting an upgraded school building for the kids, it’s sad to see Webster Stanley School get torn down.
“When I found out this was happening I had to be here, when you enjoy something you’re doing it means a great deal to a person,” said Moeser.
“Brings back a lot of memories, good memories,” said Schmitt and Kempinger.