Director's Corner: 30th Anniversary party

The second part of 2015 may go down in the books as the sweetest period since the founding of the school, even though the first part may stand as the most painful, so much so that, for a while, a celebration hardly felt timely. The brave 30th Anniversary Party committee, however, received the right encouragement at the right time, made the right decision and plowed through, so a party did take place at the Miccosukee Land Coop on Saturday and it was…the sweetest! It was a wonderful day, and not just because the weather was gorgeous, the music great, the food scrumptious, and the kids busy having fun on the playground or with the cakewalk. Some people were dearly missed, but there were plenty of old-timers and current students alike to remind us all of the school’s 30 years of accomplishments.

Seeing the friendly faces in attendance and feeling their support was healing and re-invigorating. I (Sophie) was particularly pleased to meet Judy Renwick, The Magnolia School’s very first teacher, whom Susan introduced as the person without whom the school would not have started!

The party could as well have been dubbed “Saturday at the Park with Susan and Irwin” because of the setting on the peaceful lawn of the Coop Community Center, because of the outdoor stage, and because the party was also an opportunity to celebrate them both.

Susan was surrounded not just by friends, including two members of her Threshold Choir with whom she sang a couple of songs; but also by her husband and both her children, Magnolia alumni, who were present.

And our dear Irwin, whose health lately has prevented him from coming to school to sing to the children, had three of his former students, now fairly accomplished musicians, play bluegrass and provide an accompaniment for the songs he sang himself. Susan and Irwin went home each with the signature of all participants on a card or a T-shirt, and with an appreciation basket full of carefully selected goodies.

Susan has declared she had a wonderful time. Please join me in thanking Jodi Wilkof for chairing the planning committee of the event, and all the other committee members for making the event happen. Nicole McDermott and alumna Melanie Leitman supervised the food, Jan Davis the setup, Sue Ray the cleanup, Paige the entertainment, alumna Zoe Linafelt the PR, Lerena Fleck the fundraising, Jenn Branham and Joe Wooley the parking, and Betsy Voorhies the first aid. Kelly helped Jan set up a “historical table,” gathering historical materials that Paige and helpers put together; Sue Ray created a slide show of pictures past and present; and Denise Wooley took tons of photos.

Thank you also to all the people who contributed to the potluck and the cakewalk and to all the volunteers who helped set up and clean up.