Rocklin Elementary turns 60

School to commemorate history with ceremony
By: Andrew Westrope, Staff Writer
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When: 9:15-10:10 a.m. Friday, March 22

Where: Clarke Dominguez Gym, 5035 Meyers St., Rocklin

Rocklin Unified School District will celebrate the 60th year of its oldest school next week with a public ceremony at the Clarke Dominguez Gym.

In conjunction with its trimester ceremony for student achievements, Rocklin Elementary School will host a public 60th-anniversary celebration from 9:15-10:05 a.m. on March 22.

Principal Amanda Makis said the school will welcome board members, district employees and the general public for a PowerPoint presentation with music and old photos of principals, teachers, classes and the school’s changing decor through the decades. Attendees will also receive complimentary “60 years of Bulldog pride” cookies and the chance to buy their own inscription for posterity.

“To add to our granite wall, we’ve connected with (Ruhkala Granite & Marble Co.) to make granite tiles that parents can purchase and add to our wall in the main breezeway in front of our school,” Makis said. “It is a pleasure and an honor to celebrate, with our school community, the 60th anniversary (of the school).”

The tiles will cost $30 apiece for four lines.

Originally built as a K-8 school in 1952, the current Rocklin Elementary was not the community’s first school, but is now among its oldest. Rocklin’s first educational system, called Rocklin School District, began in 1866 with a schoolhouse on a plot of land now occupied by a ballpark on Fourth Street. From there it expanded to a two-story building on the west side of Pacific Street between Oak and Pine streets and a wooden schoolhouse on the south end of the grounds, and then a brick schoolhouse from 1922 until 1952. The student population had grown from 139 students in 1879 to 370 in that time, and it hasn’t stopped since – current enrollment, now only K-6, is at 555 and counting.

Maria Dominguez, a computer technology teacher at the school, said Rocklin Elementary School’s curriculum, mascot and student body have changed since she started kindergarten there in 1962, but its goal is the same. Now past her 25th year as a teacher, she said the neighborhood children who attend class in the old building get a good education, particularly through the school’s popular Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program, and “feel very comfortable” there.

“We did remodel the school once, but because it’s the oldest school here in Rocklin, it has character,” she said. “There really isn’t much that’s changed as far as the school itself.”

After 15 years as a fifth-grade teacher at the school, Sam Meteer said he has already seen Rocklin Elementary take on a generational legacy for some families.

“It has a lot of character, a lot of tradition. We have kids whose parents went here, and even grandparents. I just like it because it’s a good mix of neighborhood kids,” he said. “Everyone focuses on the new Rocklin, and it’s nice to recognize that there is some history here. There is a past.”

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