Denison says goodbye to century-old school

By: Victoria Maranan Email
By: Victoria Maranan Email

DENISON, TX-Hundreds of people took a "Walk Down Memory Layne" Tuesday night to say goodbye to one Denison elementary school; where kids have been educated for more than a century.
The Layne Elementary School cafeteria was packed with its students from today and yesterday, all the way back to the 1930's. I spoke with one of them Tuesday and he shared with us his fondest memories.
Denison resident Jeff Householder attended Layne elementary in the 1970's and he said he wants to see his old school one last time.

"It's been a while but it was just a good school. Mr. Rutledge was the principal here as he was for many many years and it was always fun. But it was strict, he ran a tight ship but I think it helped us learn and it provided a better environment for us," he said.

Householder is one of hundreds of former students who attended "A Walk Down Memory Layne," celebrating the school's past and present. He attended Layne when Gordon Rutledge was principal, whom he visited with during the event, and it brought back some old memories.

"It's kinda funny but one of the things that I'll never forget is how Mr. Rutledge can silence this entire cafeteria with just the clearing of his throat. That's all it took and it was dead silence," he said.

Rutledge received a standing ovation from former staff and students for his 31-year service as principal at the school.

"My students, I try to keep up with them as much as I can and my teachers, they are great. I had great teachers," he said.

Layne Elementary is one of two schools to be torn down at the end of the school year as part of Denison ISD's $80-million school bond. Rutledge and Householder said it's bittersweet.

"I know that it's an old school and we have to make changes. I believe in a neighborhood school though, and this was," said Rutledge.

"I hate to see it go but I understand why with kids having to cross the street to go to lunch and go to recess. It's not a good situation, I wish there's something that can be done, but it's an old school," said Householder. "I'll miss it and it's been a while since I've been here. It's good to see the place one last time and just people, help people remember Layne."

Layne Elementary will close at the end of this school year and its students will attend Mayes Elementary next year.
Golden Rule Elementary is scheduled to close when the new high school opens.


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  • by Gena F Location: Denison on May 9, 2012 at 09:46 PM
    There truly is very little left of the town I grew up in and loved. I drive around town now and see a crime ridden,drug infested nest that no one in charge seems to care about fixing. It is almost like the town has a curse on it and those in charge are part of it.
  • by Junior Location: Denison on May 9, 2012 at 07:39 PM
    I remember when we used to reenact the battle of the Alamo around the huge oak tree on the playground in 1967. Texas always won back then:-) And we did too as students at that great school!
  • by ol school on May 9, 2012 at 02:24 PM
    anyone remember the dog house at this school little hall way between 2 classes if you got in trouble you were sent there
  • by me on May 9, 2012 at 02:22 PM
    they should have never torn down the old mcdaniel school . That school rocked
  • by Joey Location: Denison on May 9, 2012 at 12:03 PM
    If you don't like what the DISD Board of Trustees is doing, you have one and only one means to affect a change. VOTE. I beleieve the last DISD board election involved the winner receiving about 85 votes. Every once in a while something happens to awake the rednecks here in Denison, but within a day or two they retire to the comfort of their deer blinds. BTW, Jeneva, the Central Ward school is privately owned, and all the folks here that keep bringing up the loss of our history have done nothing, nada, with respect to Central Ward. Here's a suggestion if it's that important to you: get together, pick out just one target property, and actually do something about it.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 04:34 PM in reply to Joey
      Joey, why does someone of your elite status and superior intellect stay here among us rednecks?
      • reply
        by Joey on May 10, 2012 at 12:57 PM in reply to
        It doesn't require a great deal of intellect to cast a ballot. Furthermore, it doesn't take much to realize, especially at the local level, that voting can make a difference. During that entire fiasco re: the old HS, folks were at odds with the city council because they decided to tear down the building. Yet, those who said they wanted to save it had 20 years to do something about it, but instead of taking positive action, they chose to rely upon the city council, which was clearly hostile toward preserving the school, to suddenly see things their way. Voter turnout in Denison is abysmal. Hamlets a fraction of the size of Denison put up better numbers.
    • reply
      by GO VOTE on May 10, 2012 at 04:46 AM in reply to Joey
      Ditto on the national level. If you don't like what the president is doing to our country, GO VOTE!! Every once in a while somethign will happen to awaken the rednecks around here - maybe 4 years of the economy in the toilet and no real jobs will do it? Maybe a president who has spent $5 TRILLION dollars in 3-1/2 years as we continue to struggle? Maybe a president who has created a healthcare plan that has raised costs or eliminated health benefits on thousands of middle class workers? Maybe an admin that has created a greater racial divide than many of us have seen in our lifetime? Let's end it now - rednecks GO VOTE!!!
      • reply
        by Redneck on May 10, 2012 at 08:44 AM in reply to GO VOTE
        what's vote
      • reply
        by Joey on May 10, 2012 at 01:03 PM in reply to GO VOTE
        Do you live here or are you just visiting this planet? Obama could have cut spending in half, and started a third unnecessary war, and he still couldn't carry Texas. In November, all of the Texas electoral votes will go to Romney. Just like they went to McCain in 2008. Texas is firmly in the red column. If every grit eating voter in Texas votes for Romney, it will not make one bit of difference in 2012. Even a redneck can figure that out. Or maybe not.
  • by Life on May 9, 2012 at 11:00 AM
    I completely agree! Soon, there will be no history for us ro tell or pass on to our kids, and thier kids. It has not been mentioned AT ALL who started the school in the first place. There is actually a historical marker in the cemetary behind the school that explains a Conferderate Soldier actually started the(a) school in that location in the 16 or 17th Century. I remeber when I went there a Gordon Rutledge was the pricinple in '76 to the time I was in 4th grade. I think it is a waste of tax money, and a waste of our history!!!!
  • by Jeneva Location: Denison on May 9, 2012 at 10:33 AM
    Why don't they tear down the old Central School that is falling down?
  • by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 08:19 AM
    This is why there is so little history in our area. When something starts to get old, these morons just want to tear it down and build new. What a waste of time, taxpayer money, and our heritage!!
    • reply
      by BEA on May 10, 2012 at 08:49 AM in reply to
      There is a season for all things, these are biblical words, and they DO apply to architectural structures as well. One thing about history is that it produces memories, and memories never die. Old things are passed away, all things have become NEW
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