The end of the school year is a busy time for Dunsmore Elementary. The school’s annual carnival was originally planned for June 5, but rainy weather forced the move to the following Friday. The weather still was not cooperating but that didn’t deter carnival goers as they filled the campus for a day of fun.
On Tuesday, the campus was once again filled with students, parents and friends in a look back at the school’s 60 year history. Since it opened its doors in 1949, Dunsmore has seen 10 principals and thousands of students walk the campus.
â€œIn 1949, Dunsmore Avenue Elementary School opened the doors with 225 students and seven teachers with a graduating class of 10 pupils,â€ said Principal Mary LaMasa.
Alumni and present day students, teachers and parents gathered on the campus on Tuesday after school to honor and remember a school with a colorful history.
From its beginning as an army barracks to its possible closure in 1979, the school has depended on strong teachers and volunteer parents to keep it on its path, she said.
In 1981, Valley View Elementary was closed and Dunsmore gained about 190 students; then a few years later, Valley View was reopened and students transferred back.
â€œAnd do you remember when the auditorium was set fire by an arsonist?â€ LaMasa asked. â€œ2004.â€
The auditorium had been vandalized and burned just as LaMasa became principal. Parents and students rallied to the school’s aide.
â€œDunsmore community has changed and continues to change,â€ LaMasa added. â€œThe only constant is the fact that we are always in a state of change. I am confident that we have another constant fact in our favor â€” our community. They will always place the welfare of children first on our list of priorities.â€
The event was also a chance to say goodbye to retiring teacher Larry McMullen.
â€œI have been with Glendale Unified School District for 34 years. Only 24 of those years at Dunsmore,â€ McMullen said.
When asked what was special about Dunsmore he said, â€œThe wonderful part of this school is the cooperative spirit. We are all a team here and we enjoy working together.â€
McMullen said that he would miss the school and students but was looking forward to golfing and riding his motorcycle.
â€œAnd my wife has a long list of things for me to do around the house,â€ he said.
Former Dunsmore Principal Gary Goold traveled from Utah to be part of the celebration. He agreed with McMullen that retirement gave him time to golf and work on that â€œhoney-doâ€ list, which he admitted he had yet to complete.
â€œBut every once in awhile I will look at the clock and wonder what is going on Dunsmore at that time,â€ he said.
Goold was at the school from 1993 to 2003 and is remembered fondly for always being there for the students. He could be seen everyday after school standing in front building overseeing the children leaving.
He added leaving Dunsmore was not easy. â€œOn my last day I told [the school secretary] to just leave and close the door. I sat in my office for over 30 minutes. Just sat there. When I left there were a few tears in my eyes.â€