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Dr. Elmer S. Bagnall Elementary School was named after Massachusetts’s first “General Practitioner of the Year” in 1949. According to the Bagnall homepage, from Bagnall’s opening in 1966 until now, the school has gone through many changes. Not only changes in the physical building, but in teachers, students, and administration as well.

In my elementary school days I remember having multiple classes of students contained in each classroom because Bagnall did not have enough room for all of the students. Since then, a new gymnasium, cafeteria, and stage have been built to allow for more room. What was previously the cafeteria is now used as offices, and the old gym is used for after school programs and small presentations.

Ms. Champion, the Principal at Bagnall when I was in elementary school, has since retired and the new principal is Mrs. Puteri, who has been at Bagnall for two years now. Previously the assistant principal at the Middle School, Mrs. Puteri is connecting well to both students and teachers, according to Bagnall’s music teacher Ms. Medley.

Another large change is the loss of previous tradition “Second Grade Sing.” Second Grade Sing was an exciting time for all second graders when the once-a-week meeting rolled around. Second graders would practice the proper way to get on risers, learn new songs, and have a fun time while doing it.  

Bagnall alumni will remember songs such as, “Thank You for Being a Friend” by Andrew Gold, “What You Learned in School Today” to the tune of John Fogerty’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” “These Books Are Made for Readin’” to the tune of Jessica Sympson’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin,’” and “Grandma’s Feather Bed” by Jim Conner. Also, many of the previous second grade teachers have retired, most notably Mrs. Gray, who was undoubtedly the main coordinator of the entire second grade, and by far the most enthusiastic staff member.

Although much has changed throughout the years at Bagnall, many of the most memorable events still take place, including the Festival of Lights and the Teacher Talent Show. The Festival of Lights is a performance for which every grade is assigned different celebration, mostly holidays around Christmas time. For example, the kindergarten class puts on a performance about Christmas where they sing songs such as “Must Be Santa” by Bob Dylan and state facts about Christmas. In addition, the sixth graders usually put on a performance about Chinese New Year.

Another memorable event for past and present students is the Teacher Talent Show, which is when teachers from every grade put on a skit, dress up, and sing songs on the last day of school. Most will remember Mr. Day’s unforgettable performance when he dressed up as a sumo wrestler and “wrestled” with other teachers, and when he dressed up as a beauty pageant participant wearing high heels and a dress.   

According to third grade teacher Miss. Gale, Mr. Day is no longer the gym teacher but has a new role as administrator. Miss. Gale says that although he was an incredible gym teacher, she also enjoys him in his new role and states that he is doing an amazing job.

It is bittersweet that Mr. Day is no longer the gym teacher. Many remember gym class as an exciting and ever-changing class. Games such as “Mr. Day’s Revenge,” “What Time is it Mr. Fox,” and the parachute game “Sharks and Lifeguards,” are some of the most memorable, among many more, in my opinion.

Another extracurricular teacher that all Bagnall kids know is the school’s music teacher, Ms. Medley. She is still a permanent figure in the school and loves teaching and engaging with kids. She also has two new full drum sets coming in, which anyone who has ever participated in one of her drum circles will be very excited about. In the past, the singular drum set was always fought over; who cares about bongos when you could play on cymbals?

When asked about retiring, Ms. Medley said that although eventually she will, she couldn’t see it happening any time soon. “I would love to be an infinite presence,” she said, and that when she walks into her classroom she is like, “a pig in the mud,” referring to her puppet pig.

Every year around Halloween, Ms. Medley tells a unique story an old couple she met told her while she was camping. The story is about the two children who get lost in the woods and meet an old lady who tries to kidnap them.

When asked about her infamous Halloween story, she shied away from answering any questions, saying, “you really think I’m gonna tell you?” Obviously, Ms. Medley is still at the heart of Bagnall, and seems to be involved in everything that is developing in the school.

According to Miss. Gale, another big change at Bagnall is that there is now a beautification committee that consists of parents and volunteers. The members of the beautification committee go around the school decluttering, painting, and doing anything else that needs to be done. Ms. Medley has said that she thinks the paint jobs are less brightly colored than she would like, but overall, Miss. Gale said that it has made the school much more functional and she is very grateful for it.