Wing School Celebration, Commemoration Events In Planning Stage

The Henry T. Wing School will be starting its final school year in September after almost a century of educating students in Sandwich, and members of the Wing School Celebration and Commemoration Committee are gearing up to say a proper farewell to the iconic building.

The committee, organized by Wing School principal Debra A. Landry and consisting of teachers and parents, has been meeting over the summer to organize events to celebrate Wing over the coming school year.

“We wanted to come up with four to five signature events to commemorate Wing’s past and present,” Ms. Landry said. “The plan is that throughout the year, the students would be learning about the various aspects of Wing.”

Some of those aspects would include looking at the significant changes that have taken place at the school over the years, from the construction of the building in 1927 to the reconstruction in 1964.

There were also changes within the school when Sandwich High School opened in 1976, followed by the openings of the Oak Ridge and Forestdale schools in 1990.

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In grade-level appropriate lessons, students will be learning about what the school and community were like during those times.

The tentative plan is to begin the commemorative activities in September by having the current students write a couple of sentences about what Wing means to them.

These thoughts will then be posted in the school. In November they hope to invite former students, staff, and parents to the school to share their school experiences with the current students.

“In January we’re talking about having a gala event, possibly in the gym,” Ms. Landry said about an event they would like to hold, featuring music from different eras, refreshments, and potentially an auction of Wing School memorabilia. “We haven’t reached out yet, but we’re hoping to tap some local musicians.”

Former staff will be invited to the school in May for an alumni reunion.

“This won’t be an event just for former teachers, but also for custodians, ESPs, former administrators, cafeteria workers, all former staff,” Ms. Landry said. “We’re tentatively planning this for Teacher Appreciation Week.”

“We hope to invite them to walk through the school and see the different displays that will be up,” Wing teacher Laura M. Dunn said. “It would be similar to a museum walk-through.”

“Later on in May we would be opening up the halls to former students and to the public, as well,” Ms. Landry said.

In addition to student work, there are plans to have items from Wing’s history on display throughout the school. “We’ll be moving artifacts toward the front of the building,” assistant principal Christopher S. Dintino said. “We’re really trying to focus on the school itself.”

They also plan to incorporate school pride into daily and weekly activities. “Every Friday will be Wing Wear Day,” Mr. Dintino said. On Fridays, students and staff would be encouraged to wear their Wing School memorabilia.

The committee stressed that these are all  tentative plans that they are working toward solidifying details. “Things could evolve throughout the year,” Ms. Landry said.

For the school’s final year, the committee has selected the slogan, “A Tradition of Excellence,” which was used in the school in the early 1990s and chosen out of several slogans from the school’s history.

“That’s the one that really commemorates the entire 100 years,” Ms. Dunn said. “We’re bringing back that slogan from the past.”

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