Students, teachers say farewell to Dallas school

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by BYRON HARRIS

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WFAA

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 29 at 6:41 PM

Bonham Elementary School

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DALLAS — There was an emotional party at James B. Bonham Elementary School on Tuesday.

The Blue Ribbon school on Henderson Avenue is one of 11 campuses that Dallas ISD is shutting down to save money.

Students and teachers used the money the PTA had saved to splurge on a farewell celebration.

The kids had plenty of energy, but nostalgia took a toll on the adults.

A school known for a special atmosphere was wrapping up its final semester.

"The kids here are like my children," said teacher Olga Olivo. "They're like my grandkids; the kids call me 'grandma.'"

Each school year ends with the passage of children entering a new phase of life, but next year at Bonham, no one will be coming back.

So, to fight off the blues, happy faces were painted on the faces of students; burgers were flipped on the grill and gravity was defied on a bungee ride.

"We're just celebrating our school, I guess," said teacher Ara Seli Puente. "Bonham has been a home for not only the kids, but for all the community."

First-grader Frida Arias understands what's happening to her school. "They're gonna close it," she said. "And we're having a party because they're gonna close Bonham. And I feel sad because they're gonna close it."

Next year, there will be plenty of places where these kids and teachers will get new starts.

But it won't be at Bonham.

E-mail bharris@wfaa.com

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