Deb Spalding

DSC_1904Throughout its fifty year history, teachers at Sabillasville Elementary School (SES) have shared sound knowledge with its children to give them a solid foundation; administrators have shown its children, by example, how to be honorable citizens and friends; community members have cared for the children by offering support and showing up when they’ve been needed.

November 18, 2015 was the 50th anniversary celebration of Sabillasville Elementary School at its “new” location (for the past fifty years) at 16210-B Sabillasville Road in Sabillasville.

Words learned as a student at SES make up this article. They convey heart-felt appreciation for being one of the lucky ones who was taught in this place. Learning at SES is warm and fuzzy, yet worldly and adventurous. Memories of learning here make one humble and so appreciative!

Grand people have attended SES. They live all over the world, around the corner, and across the street. They’ve achieved honor and impacted others. They’ve done for others as the teachers, administrators, and community at SES did for them. During the celebrations, some of these people traveled through the halls of the school and the media center where class photos and memorabilia were displayed.

The night’s ceremony started with a welcome from SES Principal, Kate Krietz. The Camp David Color Guard gave the Presentation of the Flags, just like they did at the twenty-five year anniversary celebration of the school.

Kate Krietz recalled that Joan Fry, a current volunteer at the school, had delivered a cake for the teachers on the first day the school was open to students in 1965. Ms. Fry was in attendance at the ceremony, and has written about the history of SES and former Sabillasville schools. Her three children attended SES.

SES students sang for the audience. “The National Anthem” was sung by McKenna Gisriel; Charlie McGinnis crooned “I Love the Mountains,” and students in the Cougar chorus roared the Sabillasville School Song and “My Town, My World.”

Time capsules, one for the twenty-five year celebration, one for the forty year celebration, and now one for the fifty year celebration, were available to view. The fifty year capsule includes special items from each class: kindergarten students made a book called “When we grow up” in which each student wrote about what they want to be when they grow up; first graders took selfies then paired the photo with a drawing of what they think they will look like when they graduate high school; second grade students created an All About Me activity; third grade students made a booklet with all of the reasons why they love SES with pictures; fourth grade students filled in the sentence, “When I think of Sabillasville, I think that…” with their thoughts; fifth grade students shared their favorite memory at SES. The time capsules were buried the following school day.

Jennifer Mullinex, President of the Sabillasville Elementary Parent Group, introduced special guests. Mark Pritts represented the Frederick County Board of Education for the evening. He was a new teacher in 1984 and 1985, assigned to SES. He remembered some people at SES whom he said, “…helped raise me to get started in my career” as a teacher. He remembered SES teachers Mrs. Buzzell, Mrs. Lingg, and Mrs. Dinterman, long-time secretary Mrs. Shirley Brown, cafeteria cook Mrs. Millie Eyler, and custodian Mr. Jack Miller. He expressed that he was very much supported by the staff and the community.

The next guest speaker, Brenda Main, is an SES alumna, who now works with the Frederick County Public Schools Transportation Department. She reminisced that she had Mrs. Summers in first grade, Mrs. Glover in second grade, Mrs. Tucker in third grade, and Mrs. Hodge in fourth grade. She remembered Mr. Jack Miller who she said, “…was so much more than a custodian. He greeted us when we arrived and wished us a good evening when we went home. About Millie Eyler in the cafeteria, she said, “She made the best darn pigs-in-the-blankets ever!”

Brenda started her bus driving career driving bus #57 at SES. Some of the students she drove home now have children of their own attending the school. For the last nine years, Brenda has been a bus driver instructor and said she brings every new driver up to SES. She said, “This is God’s country. I tell them the history here. Most people don’t realize the school is here. I teach them to drive these roads.”

Karen Locke, a former principal at SES stated, “Sabillasville Elementary School is Frederick County’s best public private school. This is the model that all schools should be made from. The personal touch, small class sizes, and dedicated community where the school is the heart. You’ve gotta love…this…school! Be proud that you went to Sabillasville.”

Special thanks to members of the 50th Anniversary Planning Committee for their coordination of the celebration; to the Sabillasville Elementary Parent Group for their support; to Pastor Bob Kells of Weller Methodist Church in Thurmont for his delivery of the Invocation; and to Reverend Mike Simane of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and St. John’s UCC in Sabillasville for his prayer and benediction.

Photographed on the stage where hundreds of class photos have been taken over the years, current and former staff of Sabillasville Elementary School are shown. First row left to right: Nicki Lingg (Kindergarten Teacher 1971-2001); Melanie Raynor, (music teacher); Kate Krietz, (Principal); Michele Firme, (Special Ed Program Assistant); Jennifer Rutherford, (Special Ed); Jim McGivern (5th Grade teacher 1986-1993); Haleh Paciotti (Literacy Specialist). Second row left to right: Barbara Buzzell (Media Specialist 1979-2002);  Brenda Smith (former student 5th & 6th grade when the school opened and taught 3rd & 4th Grades 1990-2008); Karen Locke (former Principal); Barbara Doney (4th Grade teacher); Shari Austin (reading intervention and 5th grade language arts teacher); Tamara Savage (Special Ed Instructional Assistant); Jane Orlando (Instructor Assistant); Tanya Wantz (2nd Grade Teacher); Janet (Tucker) Dinterman (Third Grade teacher 1971-1989). Back rows left to right: Mark Pritts (5th Grade Teacher 1984-1986); Peggy Laster (Aide 1965-1975); Jean Glover (2nd & 1st Grade Teacher 1972-1987); Maureen Schildt (5th Grade); Rose Hatcher (custodian); Heidi Hench (art teacher); Marnie Mortenson (3rd grade 19th year); Melinda Bentz (13th year Kindergarten); Michelle Mapes (Math Specialist and Tech Coordinator); Pam Ellenberg (1st Grade teacher 15 years); Jodie Miller (Lead Custodian 14 years); Karen Adams (2nd grade 1986-1997); Sue Valenti (1st grade 1986-2001); Paula Bowman (Secretary 25 years).

50th Anniversary Planning Committee


Angie Hahn, Barb Messner, Michele Firme, Shelly McConnell, Jane Savage, Alisha Yocum, Jennifer Mullinex, and Kate Krietz.

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