Many years ago, a young Glenn Tart walked into the doors of Hobbton Elementary on the first day of school. At that time, it was pretty much a new school.
“I remember vividly going in and Mr. JB Henderson was the principal,” Tart said about the administrator, who was small in stature. “But in those days he was 10 feet tall and bulletproof. He was a well respected principal.”
Fast forward, Tart is now successful in the construction business and serves on the Sampson County Schools Board of Education. He showed appreciation for previous school leaders who built a strong architectural foundation for many children to enter the doors every year.
“I’m sure that we’ll get many more years of service out of Hobbton Elementary,” Tart said.
Community members such as Tart and supporters of Hobbton Elementary School are looking forward to sharing five decades of memories and success.The school is celebrating its 50th anniversary from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, at 12361 Hobbton Hwy., Newton Grove. During the floating open house, attendees will have the opportunity to visit with former and present staff members and students. Refreshments will be served.
“There’s a lot of community support with the Hobbton Elementary,” Tart said while reflecting on his elementary days and former teachers. “They were real instrumental in my life.”
Tart reiterated how teachers at Hobbton Elementary and throughout the district are doing a good job educating students.
“We have some outstanding teachers then and we still do,” Tart said. “Once you got on at Hobbton Elementary, you were like family and there was no real big turnover far as faculty and staff. It’s a real close-knit community that treats the teachers well.”
One of the members in the close-knit community Tart described is Cynthia Kersey, a first-grade teacher at Hobbton Elementary. Like Tart, she has fond memories as well. She began kindergarten in the 1970s and returned in 1990s to teach first grade. Kersey is now in her 26th year of teaching.
“A lot of changes have occurred since it opened 50 years ago,” Kersey said. “There’s a lot of things that are still the same. It’s still a tight-knit community school with a lot of community support from parents. That’s something we’ve always enjoyed.”
Kersey said the upcoming event will give former students the opportunity to see some of the changes such as new additions or classrooms.
“We thought it would be a good opportunity for retired personnel or anyone from the community to visit,” she said.
Dawn Wilkes, principal of Hobbton Elementary School, said she was very excited about the upcoming 50th anniversary.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for former students, teachers and staff members to come out and see how our school has changed over the years,” Wilkes said.
Wilkes added that Hobbton Elementary would like for everyone who is available to attend the special occasion.
“Our teachers and staff have worked really hard in preparing the schedule for this and getting our school ready for this great event,” Wilkes said. “We are very proud of Hobbton Elementary and can’t wait for the community to come and visit us.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.