Centennial event 1 month shy of school’s closing

While it didn’t officially become part of the Williamsport Area School District until 1923, its role in the community has remained steadfast, through its many physical changes, as a neighborhood home for educating children for the past century.

And even though it is scheduled to close at the end of the school year in June, the faculty and staff of Sheridan Elementary School are busy planning its 100-year celebration, scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. May 18.

“This is not related to the school closure,” said event co-coordinator Deborah Briel, who also is the school library aide and a 30-year employee of the building. “This is about the school’s 100th birthday.”

The event marked with speeches and attendance by local dignitaries, Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Kelley, board members, local politicians – and possibly some who may have graduated from the school.

Also planned are tours of the building, led by fifth-grade students, as well as displays of the school’s history, old newspaper clippings and headlines from its opening year.

“We’re looking for anyone who attended Sheridan, or former teachers or administrators, who can recount their experiences here,” Briel said. “We’re also looking for anyone that may have Sheridan memorabilia they can share for the celebration.”

The event will be held in conjunction with the PTO’s Spring Fling.

“As a former Sheridan student, a former Sheridan parent and a current Sheridan educator, to me the school has meant a lifetime of developing family, friends, learning and love,” said fifth-grade teacher Elizabeth Lyons.

Parent Vicki Haussmann described Sheridan as a “small school with a big heart.”

It has “wonderful teachers, challenging curriculum, inclusion for all, learning coupled with fun and a caring community,” she said. “We are very thankful all three of our children had the opportunity to begin their educational careers here at Sheridan.”

Perhaps one of the most special pieces, according to Briel, will be Sheridan T-shirts sold to raise funds for the school’s Orville W. Mitstifer Award, so that Sheridan students may continue receiving that scholarship through the Class of 2025. Mitstifer taught at Sheridan from 1923 to 1954. He died in 1956.