Pitsch set to close next week after more than 50 years - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Pitsch set to close next week after more than 50 years

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by Colby Robertson

WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) -- After more than 50 years, Pitsch Elementary in Wisconsin Rapids is closing its doors. The decision came from the board earlier this year to help with the districts budget shortfall.

With just over a hundred students, Pitsch is one of Wisconsin Rapids smallest schools. Next year these students will split up from their peers, some going to Howe Elementary and the rest going to Washington.

When the news spread through the halls of Pitsch Elementary that this would be the schools last year it hit everyone in the community hard.

Pitsch parent Holli Schultz says, "It's hard to see something that's been around for so long and even people that I work with that are my parents age that came to school here. This school has been around for a long time so it is sad to see such a small school and community lose something like that."

Holli Schultz has two sons at Pitsch. Next year they'll begin the 2010 school year at Washington Elementary. A new school, new principal, new friends. For 5th and 6th grade teacher Sandy Smith it's the end of an era. She's spent two decades in this school, teaching hundreds of students year after year.

Sandy Smith says, "I do have mixed emotions because there is a part of you that is Pitsch and that part of me will always be there, but I'll take it with me and hopefully can inspire kids and do things that I've done here at Pitsch, but yea it's a different time right now."

Smith will head over to the new middle school to teach 7th grade language arts. The rest of the Pitsch teachers will spread out to different schools throughout the district."

Smith says, "It's always hard to leave that, but you have to take the positive approach too. Is that the passion and spark you have for teaching and kids will now go with you to another building."

Wednesday, June 9th is Pitsch's last day of school. The school year will end and the doors at Pitsch Elementary will close forever. In the meantime teachers and students spend the last few days celebrating the small neighborhood school they all learned to love.

Principal Shannon Matott says, "I've been here three years and I've come to know and understand the uniqueness of this small school. It's very special and the families are close knit, it's a community school, so it's very sad."

All the students took a field trip to tour their new school. There, they met the other students, their new teachers and principal.

Online Reporter: Colby Robertson

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