Forty years ago, the hill on which Mill Creek Elementary School is nestled was open farmland and fields. Now, the school building is full of young students eager to learn, celebrate their heritage in the Shawnee Mission School District and look to its future of possibilities.
Mill Creek Elementary School celebrated its 40th anniversary Nov. 2; the school opened in 1978. The gym was packed from wall to wall with students, faculty, alumni and leaders of Lenexa and the school district.
“Today truly symbolizes what our school stands for and what the school is here to accomplish and how we will serve the community in the future,” said Principal Michelle Lord. “We are here to motivate students and create excellence, and we are all here learning today and leaving tomorrow.”
Sluggerrr, the Kansas City Royals mascot, also paid a visit; he and Spirit, the elementary school’s mustang mascot, kept the crowd of students rambunctious with their playful antics. The jazz band and dance team from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School gave rousing performances for the children as well.
Students sang happy birthday to their school building and heard speeches from Lenexa Mayor Michael Boehm, school district superintendent Mike Fulton and president-elect of Mill Creek’s PTA, Cindy Hogya.
Hogya said Mill Creek has always been a special community for students to learn and grow. She also thanked Angie Bogle for organizing the anniversary celebration.
“As I look out, I see teachers and staff, retired and current, who have worked alongside parents to shape and mold countless children into successful students,” Hogya said. “A tradition of excellence, built with the support of our community, continues right now in this building today.”
Fulton said he is so proud of the students, faculty and staff.
“You have such a wonderful school, a great community,” Fulton said. “Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful celebration. It’s fun to be here, and I’m looking forward to just enjoying the rest of the show.”
Boehm recognized the students’ efforts to get to know their community. And when the city started its Learn About Lenexa in partnership with its schools, Mill Creek Elementary piloted the program.
“It was such a success here at Mill Creek, and it’s been replicated across all elementary schools here in Lenexa; that’s a great thing,” Boehm said.
The mayor also gave a brief history of the school and how Lenexa city leaders helped open the school. The celebration concluded with students painting rocks to decorate a special outdoor shrine to commemorate their 40th anniversary.
“After reflecting on this day, I will always come up with a feeling of gratitude,” Lord said, thanking the many parents and volunteers who support the school. She also thanked the teachers and staff for their continuous effort to give students excellent learning opportunities.
“This school will be here for another 40 years, and we will serve our community, adapt to the demands of the future and educate many future generations,” Lord said. “We are excited to get to work, as each year writes a chapter in our school history and legacy.”