Elmhurst & Pleasant Center "Celebrate" Final School Day

By John W. Davis

June 18, 2010 Updated Jun 9, 2010 at 11:18 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Whether it was with tears or laughter, students, parents, and staff at Elmhurst High School and Pleasant Center Elementary School said their last goodbye on Wednesday afternoon.

For young students at Pleasant Center Elementary, the closing of their school was marked by an annual tradition.

"The flag ceremony is always an emotional day," said Pleasant Center Principal Carrie Kennedy.

Tears flowed, children smiled, but moving on is never easy.

"The end of the year is always exciting because you know you've seen another year of growth in students but this year exciting and hard," said Kennedy.

Some parents are alumni themselves. Others are matriarchs, because their children and grandchildren were once Pleasant Center "Space Shuttles".

"We're sad. All of us have been crying about the school closing. But we'll have a lot of good memories here and we wish the best for all the children wherever they find their new home in the fall," said Pleasant Center Grandmother Shirley Daugherty.

Meanwhile, Elmhurst closed its hallowed halls Wednesday afternoon with an early dismissal field day.

"It's very emotional right now," said Elmhurst High School Senior Katrina Kurdop.

After 79 years, everything ends Friday when seniors cross their final high school threshold.

"Graduating and my little brothers being freshmen. So I'm really sad about it but I'm really glad I'm the last graduating class," said Kurdop.

Trojan leaders say students and staff will always remain family.

"When we get to Wayne, when we get to Northside, when we get to Southside, it's just going to be a bigger family. We're going to find more people to add to our family, we're going to find more people to look out for us and we're going to find more people to look out for. "said Elmhurst High School Principal Chad Hissong.

When the decision to close Elmhurst was made in late march, students rallied around athletics. The basketball team's playoff run excited the community, and so did the baseball team.

"It was pretty emotional, last game of the Elmhurst sports programs. Just so much riding on it and I think we just got a little bit too amped up and that's what did us in I think," said Elmhurst Head Baseball Coach Zac Pace.

"We made shirts that said the final season and we didn't quit on anybody we made it our promise to get down to Indy. It didn't work out but we didn't quit," said Elmhurst Senior Baseball Player Mike Whitlow.

New Haven won Wednesday night's Regional Championship 9 to 2.

And with that Trojans will no longer run the base paths.

Trojans will no longer swing for the fences.

And Trojans will no longer don the red and gray.

But students and alumni agree, Elmhurst will always be loved and remembered.

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