ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Keenburg Elementary held its last 8th-grade graduation ceremony on Friday. The school will close at the end of the school year due to the consolidation of elementary schools in the district.
The staff remembered all the good times they spent working at the school. Dianne Hyatt, a computer teacher, has been working at Keenburg for 38 years.
“I started at 22 as a very young naive teacher,” said Hyatt. “This is like home. This is my home away from home.”
Hyatt has a lot of history with the school and has watched the community grow.
“I met my husband here,” said Hyatt. “My children toddled all over this school and went here as well and it’s just been a wonderful place to work.”
Hyatt said she will be retiring to spend time with her grandkids instead of working at a different school.
“I’ve never been in an environment like Keenburg,” said Hyatt. “We all love each other. It’s very rare to have a faculty that everybody gets along and everybody does.”
Julie Wilcox was a 7th and 8th-grade teacher at Keenburg and has been working at the school for 26 years. It’s the only school she has taught at.
“It’s bittersweet. I’m very excited for these 8th graders to go to high school,” said Wilcox. “To go out and make a difference, but it’s also sad. It’s the end of Keensburg.”
Wilcox said she will be transferring to Hunter Elementary in the fall to teach 4th grade.
“I’m going to miss the school,” said Wilcox. “I’m going to miss the kids, I’m very sad, but it will be okay.”
As Wilcox remembers the great things about Keenburg Elementary she said she is thankful for the people.
“We really love our kids, we know their parents, and we know their situations,” said Wilcox. “I think the biggest thing is just a sense of family and community here.”