Appalachian Thursday–Adrian Elementary School

merry-go-roundI recently joined a Facebook alumni group for my grade school back home in West Virginia. I’m not a very enthusiastic alumnus of any of the other schools I attended, but I was excited to see pictures and share memories of those early years.

I LOVED elementary school. I went along the day Mom took my older brother for his first day and cried when she pried me out of a desk to take me home. Adrian Elementary School sat high on a hill far above the train tracks and probably had wonderful views wasted on the children.

I remember little bins of brightly colored blocks. Learning to write on that brownish paper with pink and blue stripes. Playing duck, duck, goose in the gym. Cloak rooms down the side of the classroom with hooks for each one of us. The smell of stale milk and peanut butter in my lunch box on the bus ride home. School carnivals with coin tosses and cake walks. School programs where it seems I was always the narrator . . .

Oh, I could go on and on. I remember the wee library, the Scholastic book sales (the torture of choosing just one), and the bookmobile pulled up outside. Not to mention the bookcase in the back of the room loaded down with age-appropriate biographies of Betsy Ross, Clara Barton, and the like.

Adrian ElemAnd then, among my very favorite things, were those wonderful worksheets. There was a place at the top to write my name followed by blanks just waiting to be filled in with answers. There was something deeply satisfying about a completed worksheet.

Middle school and high school were much harder. The satisfaction of finished worksheets and playing on the merry-go-round at recess were replaced with awkward self-consciousness and a desire to be one of the cool kids.

Maybe this sweet longing to revisit those early days of school has something to do with being north of my fortieth birthday. But, oh, what I wouldn’t give to hunt Easter eggs on the grassy hill above the school (I found the gold egg one year) and then to go back inside and complete a whole stack of worksheets.

Maybe Mrs. Floyd would even draw a smiley face next to my grade.


Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

8 thoughts on “Appalachian Thursday–Adrian Elementary School

  1. I attended Adrian School, grades 1-8. Great memories there, some years ago I drove up there, it looked so small, wish I could of went back inside to look at old classrooms. Pat DePoy Campbell.

  2. Sarah this is Jackie Daniels i was in the same grade as you in Adrian i dont know if you remember me or not. I went in that building back around 1999 or so. All the glass had been broken and there was grafitti everywhere. It was sad but what struck me was how small everything was. But it sure did bring back memories. I remember when we were in Mrs. Michaels’ 4th grade class you were reading Black Beauty and you recommended it to me. I learned to love reading in that school and i still love it. Good to see anything related to the old place. Thanks for the article 😁

      1. Yes even the gymnasium seemed really small i found it a wonder that so many kids used to fit in there at the same time. I believe the building is a private residence now. All the old playground equipmemt was still intact too when i was there.

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