Way Elementary to celebrate 50th anniversary

By: Brendan Losinski | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 21, 2017

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BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Leaders at Way Elementary School, in Bloomfield Township, want the community to “go way back” with them as they celebrate their 50th anniversary with a festival full of games, attractions and refreshments.

Opening in 1967, the school has taught thousands of young students in the Blomfield area. The event will take place 6-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, on the school grounds. Current and former students, teachers, staff, administrators, parents and community members are invited.

“About four months ago, I put it out there to our Parent Teacher Organization that we would be turning 50 years old, and how nice it would be to celebrate that and bring a lot of our people back,” explained Adam Scher, the principal of Way Elementary. “The PTO worked with several of our current and past teachers to put it together.”

Scher said this is a major milestone for the community and an opportunity to celebrate the many great people who have been part of the school’s history.

“Being around for 50 years means there’s a legacy of interesting curriculums, wonderful staff members, wonderful families and great learning,” said Scher. “We’re inviting people up onstage to tell stories. Our hallways will be adorned with all the different teaching initiatives Way promoted throughout the last 50 years and the principals who promoted them.”

The festivities themselves will take place at Way, but parking for the event will be at Bloomfield Hills High School due to the Way parking lot being used for the event’s classic car show. Shuttle buses will be offered to transport attendees to and from the event.

“We’ve set up a field of fun at Way’s baseball field,” said Nisha Doshi Reddy, the incoming president of the Way PTO. “There will be bounce houses and obstacle courses. We will have a classic car show, ice cream and food trucks. We usually have an ice cream social at this time of year, but instead we’re doing our 50th celebration, so we still wanted to make sure everyone could get their scoop before the school year.”

There will be live music and entertainers, displays highlighting Way’s history, and the opening of a time capsule.

“We’re opening up the time capsule that was buried in the ’90s and will be burying a new one at the start of the school year to be opened up in another 50 years,” said Scher. “We’re going to craft some questions to see what artifacts will be put in there.”

Those interested in the school’s anniversary also can purchase a commemorative brick, personalized with their name or a message. The bricks will be added to paths on the school grounds in the fall and can be purchased for $50 each in the e-store at www.wayelementarypto.com.

“We’ve created gardens where the bricks will adorn,” said Scher. “They will show how people were here for the celebration and they were part of it. We already have a peace garden, and there will be a new path connecting the playground with the front of the building that these bricks will be a part of that people can include as a namesake.”

Reddy said this is an important milestone to celebrate because of how many lives have been changed by Way Elementary and how special of a place it is.

“I joined the community three years ago when my daughter began kindergarten,” she said. “What I found sets Way Elementary apart (from other schools) is the work and community of parents who take a role in the school. It truly is something significant to celebrate to have 50 years of success for our children. For us, this is a celebration of not only the school community but for our entire community as a whole. This celebration marks a lot of effort from our parents and staff from over the last five decades.”

“I think it’s important for us to go back in time at points in our life to reflect,” added Scher. “It’s fun to see how educational careers began and to see how our students have been successful. I am a strong believer in the idea that you should learn, earn and return. We teach the whole child, so we want them to be a good citizen — after that, they find success and earn respect, and then they return and give back.”

Bloomfield Township Supervisor Leo Savoie said the event also has special meaning for the larger Bloomfield community.

“What is great about having schools celebrating their 50th anniversary is we are now having a third generation of kids attending schools in the same place where their parents and grandparents attended,” he said. “It gives a continuity to the area and a feeling of ‘home,’ rather than more transient communities.”

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