Spring Hill - Neighbors may have reported hearing roaring on Friday night as the Tigers of Westside Elementary School invited current and former students and staff, district leaders and community members to join them in celebrating the school's 50th year at a family focused event last Friday.
Westside Elementary was founded in 1972, and was the first school to open on the west side of the Hernando County. For the event, school staff created a colorful memory lane that took attendees through displays with iconic items from each of the five decades. Guests also enjoyed musical hits, outdoor games, face painting, crafts, self-guided campus tours and photo booths. The biggest hit of the event was the display of scrapbooks and school yearbooks that gave alumni and former students a chance to share their memories from their days at Westside.
Before they were the Tigers they are today, Westside opened as the home of the bobcats; and their first principal was Dwayne "Skip" Erikson. Despite the school's growth over the years, Westside maintains its unique, "neighborhood school" feel. Current administrator, Kristina Stratton, has been principal of Westside since 2014. "Our school belongs to everyone who has ever been part of our history," Stratton said. "Because of their legacy, Westside is fierce in spirit and focused on a great future ahead."
The school has seen many successes throughout the years, including serving as a leading technology campus, includes National Board Certified teachers on staff, and having educators recognized by the state as high-achieving or a "Florida High-Impact Teacher".
Westside Elementary is at 5400 Applegate Drive. Visit the Website or the school's Facebook page to see additional photos from the event and other happenings.