The White family’s roots go deep at Highline Community Elementary School. They were part of the school even before its doors opened in the fall of 1991.
“It started at Cunningham,” said Veronica O. White, who was on the PTO at Cunningham, which was one of the oldest schools in the Cherry Creek School District.
Cunningham was built in 1924. The one-room schoolhouse at 9659 E. Mississippi originally served 28 students in eight grades. The school was enlarged many times over the years, but by the late 1980s, it was clear the school needed to be replaced.
A new school was planned at 11000 E. Exposition on the far north side of the district. White and other members of the Cunningham PTO were involved in planning and naming the new school. They were also instrumental in moving a train caboose, which was a popular community landmark on the Cunningham campus, over to the new school.
“We had to bring that caboose,” White said. “That was part of the school.”
So the caboose found a new home in front of the new Highline Community Elementary School, where White’s son, Jonathan White, attended second through fifth grade. Twenty-five years later, Jonathan’s son, Jonathan Jr., is a first-grader at Highline.
“It’s actually an awesome feeling – to be part of that tradition of going to a quality school,” Veronica O. White said. “I wanted to always be in a Cherry Creek school and for my son to follow that same path and for his son to have the same kind of quality teachers, that’s a blessing.”
On Sept. 22, the extended White family joined hundreds of other past and present Highline families for a 25th Anniversary celebration. They gathered in the gym to celebrate 25 years of service to one of the district’s most diverse neighborhoods. The Highline student body comprises nearly 80% students of color and students speak 22 different languages.
“What an amazing celebration for the Highline community,” said Principal Darla Thompson, after a ceremony in the school gym featuring past and present staff and students. “I am excited to see so many of our alumni return for the recognition of our 25th Anniversary. Highline is the type of school that everyone calls home.”
After the ceremony, the crowd spilled out onto school grounds for a community carnival. The White family children and hundreds of others enjoyed carnival games run by Highline teachers, staff and parent volunteers. It was a fun and fitting tribute to 25 years of educational excellence and community involvement.