PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A happy birthday is in order for one local Panama City school as they celebrate 60 years of learning.
With both alumni and current students in attendance, it was a day of celebration for Holy Nativity Episcopal School.
“We had started planning this long before the hurricane hit over a year ago,” said School Director of Development, Amy Moody.
With a special birthday celebration involving cake and refreshments, families and students came out to the school on a Sunday in support of the big day.
The school was badly damaged during the storm, but with repairs to the roof, flooring and several classrooms, it’s back up and open and now selling some pieces of the building from before the storm.
Staff says they want to give pieces of the former school back to its students and alumni, including a book on the schools’ entire history.
“A 60-year history book, its put together with newspaper clippings and all the pictures we could find over 60 years. Were also selling the original Cove School windows because they all had to be replaced in this main building after the storm,” said Moody.
Parents in attendance say this is a great way to bring the old and new generations of students together.
“This is a great opportunity for our school and our neighborhood and our community. Not only is it a celebration of getting back into the school after the storm, but 60 years of history in our community. Lots of articles inside are about the cove school and the history that it went through and how it evolved to Holy Nativity,” said school parent, Chris Stamps.
Staff at the school say this is a special day for many reasons.
“Well, I’ve taught here for 18 years, so seeing my former students who come back and make time to visit. They don’t normally do that on an everyday occasion, but they know they wanted to come back today. And then seeing people I’ve just seen in photographs, from as far back as the 60’s so that’s really neat being able to meet all of them,” said Moody.
For alumni, this may be their first time back since school ended for them.
“Sometimes when you leave school you don’t really get to come back and you don’t get to see the next generation, like my daughter Celia and my son Walker and see them playing where you used to play and get to see the stories, and see history in the making for the next generation,” said Stamps.
Staff at the school say they hope this celebration gave students memories to last a lifetime.