Monday, December 17, 2012

Tropical Elementary Celebrates 50 Years

Tropical Principal Dr. Jane Respess oversees the celebration.

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida - Nearly 1,000 people came together Monday morning for the celebration of Tropical Elementary’s 50th Anniversary on Merritt Island. 

And when the fourth grade class sang the lyrics from “We Are the World” – the crowd was mesmerized and the moment was poignant.
“We are the World; we are the children; we are the ones who make a brighter day so let’s start giving. There’s a choice we’re making; we’re saving our own lives; it’s true, we’ll make a better day, just you and I.”

Principal Dr. Jane Respess began the ceremony acknowledging the violence in Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday.  “Our hearts are aching,” she said as she led the crowd in a moment of silence.  But then, the students of Tropical took the crowd on a music-filled morning, which lifted spirits and also brought the occasional tear.
1960s: 3rd grade - “Wonderful World”
1960s: 2nd grade - “When I’m 64”
1970s: 6th grade – “Shining Star”
1980s: 1st grade – “Celebration/Walk Like an Egyptian”
1980s: 4th grade - “We Are the World”
1990s: 5th grade – “I Believe I Can Fly”
2000s: Kindergarten/TK – “I Gotta Feelin’”
5th/6th Grade Chorus – “Birthday” (Beatles Version)
Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Brian Binggeli honored teachers and staff.  “50 teams of teachers have come here and gone into empty rooms and made the four walls and the desks places of learning and discovery.”
Dr. Barbara Murray – Chair of the School Board – also noted the achievement.  “I respect those who lead and educate our nation’s children.
“Today, we celebrate the positive culture and educational experience here.  Tropical students do it all.”
Besides Tropical students, teachers, and staff, among those in attendance were three former principals, former teachers, district administrators, and parents.
The fifth grade class also added to the touching morning with their rendition of “I Believe I Can Fly:”
“I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky, I think about it every night and day, Spread my wings and fly away;
I believe I can soar, I see me running through that open door, I believe I can fly, I believe I can fly, I believe I can fly.”
Fifth grade students prepare to sing "I Believe I Can Fly"

Former principals (l-r): Dan Evans, Gene Brock, and Cherie Trace

School Board Chair Dr. Barbara Murray and BPS Superintendent Brian Binggeli

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