Mt. Vernon Register-News

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June 12, 2013

Remembering a school

By the end of this week, what was once a place of learning and laughter will be gone.

Demolition of Horace Mann School will be completed this week, but pieces of its life and the memories which came from its halls will live on.

“The stone from over the doors will be going to the Jefferson County Historical Society,” said Nathan McKenna, city projects manager. “City crews will be picking it up from the demolition site and delivering it there. ... Plans are to place it by the parking lot eventually, but for now it will be on the ground until they get a base for it.”

Carol Saladin, a former teacher at the school, and one of her fellow former staff members, Sharon Nichols, held a remembrance ceremony for Horace Mann, with attendees ranging in age from 97 to 2-years-old.

“There were people there from across the street and some that came 200 miles to be a part of it,” Saladin said. “The people that were there were people who absolutely loved that building.”

But Saladin said more than the building, it was the people and the caring that went on inside the structure that will be remembered.

“I was a teacher at Lincoln School and was transferred to Horace Mann,” Saladin recalled. “It was the bets move that ever happened to me. I was needed much more there. ... We were a family rather than co-workers and the students and staff were all happy.”

Saladin defined Horace Mann as a true “neighborhood school.”

“The parents were always involved and felt welcome at the school,” Saladin said. “They came by all the time and were a part of the learning and activities. What went on there was such a good thing.”

Saladin also recalled the final day of student attendance at the school prior to the consolidation of District 80 Schools and the subsequent deeding of the facility to the city.

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