They've torn down the buildings where I went to elementary and high school. It had originally been the Buda School District, and more recently part of the Bureau Valley School district. It will always be remembered as Western Community Unit District 306 to me though. That's what it was from 1961-1995, as well as when I lived/attended there. That's what it was when my dad was the principal there too. In fact, he was the high school principal 33 of the the 34 years Western existed (1961-1994). Not only was he the principal, but over the course of his tenure, he was also athletic director, golf coach, assistant football coach, assistant superintendent, bus driver, and probably various other positions as well. I can't really remember attending an event at the school where my dad was not present. So it's kind of sad to see the buildings torn down.
I'm not even sure what the buildings were being used for at the present. I think the plan now is to keep the single-story part (gym, cafeteria, and some offices/classrooms) and bring in some portable classrooms for 3rd-5th grades (or something like that). When I attended school here the Buda elementary was in the East wing, and Western High School was in the West wing, and part of the East. Kindergarten and Jr. High were in neighboring Sheffield (Buda and Sheffield made up Western).
I have a lot of memories from the old school - though probably not as many as my dad. His first job out of college was as the Ag teacher at Buda High School. When they consolidated with Sheffield to form Western, he was talked into becoming the school's first principal - at the ripe old age of 28! I just recently learned that he didn't really want to do it, but let himself be persuaded into it. It is not something I enjoyed as a child growing up in the same small town, but I do have to say that I always admired and respected my dad even if we didn't always get along. He really did (and does) care about kids, and people in general. He took a lot of crap from a lot of people on behalf of people who were never aware of him standing up for them.
It just dawned on me the other day that perhaps part of why I took being let go as a pastor so hard was because of the fact that my dad spent his entire career at the same place. I guess I had always dreamed I would remain the pastor of the same church my whole career too. When it was cut short after 14 years, I guess I felt like my dream had died, as well as I had failed to live up to the example my parents set. Not only could I not keep a job, but my parents have lived in the same town their entire lives since leaving college. Not that it's bad or wrong or anything to not, but it's somewhat disappointing personally.
So, the school buildings are torn down. My mom was texting me pictures all day Monday as it was happening. A bunch of them sat in lawn chairs across the street and watched the bricks tumble. I suppose that's 'progress,' or something. It's kind of sad to me. Not that I care all that much about the buildings or the current school district, but from a more nostalgic point of view. I imagine it was hard on my parents to watch. Here are some pics...
|My dad at what used to be the door to his office.|
|The elementary side.|
|Another brick... in the ground.|