, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

May 10, 2010

Ex-students bid 'goodbye' to closing Okla. school

YUBA — People came to say "goodbye" to Yuba Elementary School during a farewell event held Saturday afternoon.

Photos lined the walls and cafeteria tables were covered with old yearbooks, scrapbooks, photo albums and school bulletins. Yuba Elementary School T-shirts were for sale, emblazoned with the "Roadrunner" mascot and the dates 1929-2010.

This is the final semester for the school that is closing due to budget cuts. Eight teachers are employed at the school and approximately 60 students are enrolled in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Tonya Wade not only attended Yuba School, but she has also taught there for 20 years. She said she was devastated when she heard the school was to be closed.

"I've been here 20 years. It is like being evicted from your home," Wade said. "The kids are great and the teachers are great. We are like one big happy family down here."

Wade, who teaches third grade, said she will be going to work at the Achille school, where she said four others among Yuba's eight teachers have also gotten jobs.

Twins Shannon and Shonnon Hoaglen attended Yuba from 1987 to 1991.

"It was kind of a shock," Shonnon said, about the school closing. "It was really unexpected. I thought it would grow more than it has. It's really sad to see it go."

Jim Daley is a former teacher who taught at the school for 21 years and then went to Achille after the high school closed in 1991. He said he had been not only a teacher, but a coach, bus driver and principal. He retired from Achille in 1996.

"I hated to see it go," Daley said. "These were great kids and the people here were wonderful. "It's sad. I knew it was coming but it's sad that it has to happen."

The last day of school is May 20. Most of the students are expected to transfer to Achille for the next school year.


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