With song and dance, local history lessons and cake, students at the four Byram Hills Central School District schools marked the 50th anniversary of the school district last week.
On June 11, 1961 the Armonk, Middle Patent and Bear Ridge School Districts were consolidated into the Byram Hills Central School District. Until that time, Armonk students attended grades K- 8 at the Whippoorwill School, located opposite the North Castle Library, and completed grades 9-12 at Pleasantville High School.
Photo Caption: BHHS Cake
Photo Credit: Byram Hills School District
To mark the anniversary, Wampus students watched a video of each class singing a localized rendition of “The Hills Are Alive,” which continued, “… with the sound of Wampus, with songs they have sung, for 50 years;”appropriate, since Wampus was the first school to be constructed for the new district. Coman Hill students had an assembly featuring old photos,some of which featured their current teachers in times gone by, and second graders performed 60s-era dances, including The Twist, The Swim, and The Hand Jive.
At H. C. Crittenden, a white birch tree was planted in front of the school entrance, in a ceremony witnessed by the entire school and addressed by student government president, Zaf Vitaj. The eighth grader, who had arranged for the donation of the tree by Mariani Gardens, took the opportunity to deliver an environmental message. “If we don’t do something, there may not be a place for further generations to play,” he said. At the high school, students enjoyed birthday cake and very musical birthday wishes from the high school chorus.
The district has compiled an oral history of the district with interviews with alumni and others. In one, a key player in the movement that resulted in the new school district and its first board president, Charles Pound, talks with district superintendent Dr. Jackie Taylor about how the district evolved in the early days. The videos are available on www.bobcattv.org