The year that brought us the Barbie Doll and the Xerox copy machine.
It’s the year Alaska and Hawaii joined the union, becoming the 49th and 50th state.
But most of all – 1959 gave us T.J. Lee Elementary School.
Named after pilot and American Airlines captain Thomas Jasper Lee, the school first opened its doors as a 12-classroom building. Now, 60 years later, the school is home to more than 640 students and 82 staff members.
To commemorate its legacy, the school hosted a day-long celebration in honor of its 60th anniversary on Wednesday, November 20. The festivities kicked off with current students and staff participating in fun activities dressed in their best 50s and 60s outfits. Throughout the day, students got a crash course in life way-back-when – from learning how to dance The Twist to watching black-and-white commercials. In the same vein, students had the opportunity to add a piece of themselves to school history by burying time capsules and planting a tree for future classes to enjoy years from now.
A special reception was held that evening where alumni and former staff members reunited for a trip down memory lane. The celebration began with a program and included a surprise gift presentation to the daughter and granddaughter of school namesake T.J. Lee. Guests also had the opportunity to hear remarks from Superintendent of Schools Magda Hernandez and Board of Trustee Nell Anne Hunt, whose daughter attended Lee as a student. Campus tours topped off the night, while many perused through scrapbooks, a life size school timeline and a historical spirt wear display.