Francisco Elementary faculty say goodbye to the school

Francisco Elementary School members say their final farewell
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 6:44 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FRANCISCO, Ind. (WFIE) - Francisco Elementary faculty members will be bidding farewell to the school as the school year comes to a close.

The end of the school year is normally an exciting for many, but some staff members say it’s a bitter sweet time for them.

Gina Dupps is a 6th grade teacher who says she holds that bittersweet sentiment. Although she will still work in East Gibson School District following this school year, she says it’s difficult to see the school she’s worked at for 35 years close.

Dupps says the memories she’s made with her students are irreplaceable.

“If I talk very long I’ll be teary eyed,“ said Dupps. “I get to see them grow up and become productive adults they may not all make straight A’s I really don’t care about that I say, “I want you to do your best that’s all I want. I want you to be a productive adult and pay your taxes. Do all the things a good citizen does.””

Dupps says she’s also nervous about transitioning to a new school because she’ll have to work alongside new staff members.

Francisco Elementary School opened in 1851, and since then they’ve taught kindergarten through 6th grade students.

East Gibson School District officials say once the schools enrollment dropped, closing the school became the best financial decision for the district.

[Previous Story: Board votes to close Francisco Elementary School]

“It’s tough because I come in each board meeting and I present the financials and it makes it look like I’m saying people didn’t do what they were supposed to do,” said Superintendent Jay Wilson. “It’s not the case.”

Principal Jane Reed says they’ve had 57 students, seven classroom teachers and a Title-1 aid at their school. She says the average class is under 10 students.

Reed says when the students transition to other schools in the district, they’ll to be in larger peer groups.

“They will not see the adjustment until next year when they’re going to be in bigger classrooms, and so right now it’s just business as usual we’re here learning and having fun and making memories.”

Many of the elementary school teachers will either transition to other schools in the district or transition to teach in other districts in the fall.

For now, staff say the school will always have a special place in their hearts.