To the Editor:

School is getting out for the summer. What is usually an exciting time for students and teachers alike has a sad undertone this June.

The issue of John Pettibone School closing is on everybody’s mind.

To those of you who tell us to “move on” and “get over it,” we will.

Life will go on and everyone will adjust.

But, for a moment, we need to mourn not the building but the JPS family.

Never again will the same remarkable group of educators and support staff be all under the same roof. They are being scattered all over the district or, in some cases, leaving altogether.

I myself walked those halls as a student. It is where I met my best friend, who is now my son’s godmother.

It is where I had my first crush.

It is where I grew up.

My mother was a teacher there. She had her “school family” and helped many students herself.

It is where my children were nurtured and learned to flourish under the guidance of the amazing staff. I do not think they would be the same people if they went anyplace else.

Many students and staff have walked through those halls over the years and have similar stories and memories as I do. It is these moments that help define us as people.

I want to take this moment to set agendas, party lines and grudges aside and say a heartfelt thank you to all past and current employees at John Pettibone School. I am sure I speak not only for myself and my family when I say you have touched more lives than you know.

May your new “school family” bring you as much joy as JPS did.

Michelle Dahl George

Gaylordsville