In the heart of the nation, in the heart of Oklahoma, in the heart of a neighborhood in the heart of Moore, stands a little school.
My brother, 3 sisters, and myself have 30 years cumulatively at Northmoor Elementary. My older sister and I attended all 7 years (kindergarten through 6th grade) of elementary school at Northmoor. The house in which I spent the first 14 years of my life is no longer standing in that neighborhood, having fallen prey to the F-5 tornado in 1999. But Northmoor is still there (having survived 3 tornadoes itself).
Starting at the first of August, I would ride my bike to the school almost every day and check the front windows.I was looking to see if they had posted the homeroom lists, yet. I couldn’t wait to see who my teacher would be.
I remember every word to the raindrop song from Mrs. McCornack’s kindergarten musical (pitter, patter, pitter, pat…see the raindrops fall…falling one by one…). My line as a pilgrim woman in the Thanksgiving pageant was “Oh! Mercy Me!”
I remember “Buttons and Bows” and “Old Grandfather Clock” and Mrs. Powell at the piano for the 3rd-grade “Shin-dig” program.
I remember panning for gold in Mrs. Phipps class.
I remember Mr. Southard explaining to me that the bean bag wouldn’t stay on my head during that game in P.E. because my hair was “so squeaky clean”.
I remember countless recesses spent rehearsing for honor choir programs with Mr. Williams. What a saint!
Oh! How I miss “R.A.P.” days (Read All Period) in Mrs. Gibson’s class.
I can still smell the salt wafting from Mr. Gorton’s room when we mummified chickens during our study of ancient Egypt. They’re buried somewhere on the playground, but be warned if you go looking for them: we put a curse in hieroglyphics on the box! I bet if I stopped by today, my feet could still find their way to the shortcut to Ridgewood Drive—across the creek and adjacent to the fields where we played many a kickball game.
I hear the cottonwood trees are mostly gone. But I’ll bet if you try hard enough, you can imagine the laughter of the children who played in their shade during many a recess.
It was at Northmoor where my unique gifts were discovered and nurtured by my teachers. It was there were I discovered my love for stories, for writing, for music, and most importantly, for people. This love would segue into a career someday. I knew very early on that I was destined to spend my life in halls like the ones at Northmoor. I’m now in my 8th year as an educator, and with each passing year, I grow to appreciate more the incredible talent and passion of my teachers.
Thank you, Mrs. McCornack, Mrs. Castle, Mrs. Bonds, and Mrs. Bailor Thank you, Mrs. Phipps, and Mrs. Hess. Thank you, Ms. Poole, Mrs. Gibson and Ms. Thomas Thank you, Mr. Gorton, and Mrs. Gregg. Thank you, Mr. Southard, Mr. Williams, and Mr. Norman.
Thank you, Mrs. Shelton, Mrs. Stark, and Mrs. Brickman.Thank you, Mrs. Brown.
Thank you, countless others—custodians, support staff, and nutrition workers.
Thank you, PTA.
Thank you, friends and neighbors; thank you, patrons and board members; thank you, community.
And most of all…thank you, Northmoor Elementary, for 50 years of unwavering service to the children of our community.
Here’s to 50 more!