The sounds of the seventies blared through the speakers as excited students entered the gym at Willow Creek Elementary. The children wore T-shirts adorned with the school’s mascot, a wildcat, who was dressed as a disco dancer. The wildcat looked a little like John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever,” a movie that was released in 1977, the year Willow Creek opened.
Teacher Pat Lozier was there on day one.
“The community was still being built, so not all grade levels had four classes when we opened,” Lozier recalled. “We were a combination grade design, so that year, I was the only fourth- and fifth-grade classroom teacher with about 25 students.”
Lozier was one of nearly 40 former teachers, librarians, principals and other staff members who attended Willow Creek’s 40th anniversary celebration on Dec. 13.
“It felt great to see so many colleagues I hadn't seen in a long time,” Lozier said. “I saw some former students who now have their own kids at Willow Creek!”
Current Principal Diana Price thanked those past employees for laying the foundation of excellence that Willow Creek has built on for four decades.
“Our superintendent, Dr. Harry Bull, often says we are standing on the shoulders of giants,” Price said. “These are some of the giants; the people who helped make Willow Creek what it is today.”
Price told her students that while many things have changed since their school opened, one thing has remained the same; “Your teachers are passionate about learning and about helping you prepare for all of the exciting challenges you will face when you leave Willow Creek. They are passionate about excellence.”
Then Price introduced a special guest, who promptly poured mysterious steam all over the floor and made flames jump out of his notebook. Steve Spangler began his career as a science teacher at Willow Creek and is now a nationally known author, television personality and CEO of Steve Spangler Science. He regaled students and adults alike with stories about Willow Creek in years past, and wowed the crowd with amazing scientific stunts, including one where he used a roll of toilet paper and a leaf blower to demonstrate Bernoulli’s Principle.
After the assembly, there was a reception in the school’s cafeteria, which had been transformed into a 70’s-style, disco-dance hall. Past and present staff members, students, families and friends had a good time celebrating 40 years of fun, friendship and academic excellence.
See more photos of the celebration on the Cherry Creek Schools Facebook page.