All former Dry Creek Elementary School Panthers are invited to take a group photo at the school at 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17 to celebrate its 150th anniversary.
“We’re the oldest school in the district,” said principal Aaron Cook, noting that although the school’s location has changed, along with the name of its district, “we celebrate the 150 years of community engagement that has gone into creating this school.”
The Dry Creek Parent Association is organizing the anniversary photo and a carnival.
“Anyone who has ever been a part of Dry Creek, as a student or administrator or staff member, we’re encouraging them to come back to take a large group photo,” Cook said. “We also want to do pictures by decade. The idea is to bring people back to kind of connect.”
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From 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, the Parent Association will host a carnival on campus to celebrate the sesquicentennial.
While bounce houses, slides, obstacle courses, a 50/50 raffle and dancing to live music by Cut Shot will highlight the evening, organizers also hope to evoke nostalgia with old school carnival booths, face painting and fair foods, said parent association member Lindsay Folmer.
Plenty of tables will be set up for attendees to sit down and reminisce over meals and enjoy a slice of 150th anniversary cake, she said.
To also pay tribute to the school’s history, a sort of one-day museum will be set up in the school’s old multipurpose room, Cook said.
“We’re encouraging people to bring back their cheer uniforms, yearbooks, trophies, photos, report cards, anything that ties back to their experience at the school,” he said.
A couple of years ago, a box of old ledgers — some dating back to 1919 — were found in a storage space below the stage in the multipurpose room, Cook said. Those teachers’ grade and attendance books will be on display, among other memorabilia contributed by the public that evening. Items from the Clovis-Big Dry Creek Museum will also be available for viewing.
Dry Creek District — one of the first eight school districts in Fresno County — was established on June 12, 1866 to educate the 12 children from 10 families of the Dry Creek settlement, according to Linda Hayward, as published in the book “50 Unified Years: Building a Tradition of Excellence in Clovis Unified Before, During and After Unification.”
The school was nine miles northeast of present-day Dry Creek Elementary’s location at Nees and Armstrong avenues. It’s first teacher was Elizabeth Ellis, who was given room, board and a monthly salary of $30, according to Hayward.
In 1929, Dry Creek District aligned with Clovis Union High School District, which became Clovis Unified School District three decades later. In 1947, Dry Creek Union District took over Nees Colony’s school at Nees and Armstrong avenues to educate its 122 students, according to the book.
Today, 840 students attend Dry Creek Elementary.
Dry Creek Elementary 150th Anniversary
Alumni photo: 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17 at Dry Creek Elementary School, 1273 N. Armstrong Ave., Clovis.
Carnival: 5 to 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 23 at Dry Creek Elementary School, 1273 N. Armstrong Ave., Clovis.
For updates, visit and Like www.facebook.com/drycreek150.
Details: Lindsay Folmer at (559) 800-0525.