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Happy Birthday, Guilford

Sterling School Turns 40

Guilford Elementary School is 40 years old. Nancy Coston, a teacher at the Sterling school, rallied fellow teachers, parents and students together, to plan a birthday celebration for the Sterling school.

"We’re going to have a birthday party for the school complete with a birthday cake," she said. "We’re going to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Guilford."

The community is invited to the party Thursday, May 31, at 5 p.m. Coston encouraged former students and employees to join the celebration.

GUILFORD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL construction began in May 1965 and the school opened in September 1966, when the population of Sterling Park was 4,500 people.

The school, which cost $624,123 to build, accommodated 600 students in grades one through seven.

In 1971, sixth- and seventh-graders moved to Sterling Middle School. Two years later, the school switched to a year-round calendar, where students attended school for 45 days, followed by a 15-day vacation. The year-round calendar only lasted two years. The school switched back to its regular calendar in 1975. That same year, sixth-graders returned to the school due to overcrowding.

The school system built an addition to the school in 1975 to accommodate new kindergarten classes. One year later, sixth-graders returned to Sterling Middle School, and Guilford added an ESL program to its curriculum.

Guilford now serves students from the Trailside, Old Sterling Gable, Newberry, Avalon at Dulles, Fox Lee and Dominion View neighborhoods.

COSTON INVITED a long list of people to the school’s celebration, including former students, teachers and staff. Some guests will read to current Guilford Elementary School students, at the party. School Board member Tom Reed (At Large), Sterling Library’s Ann Lee and retired Guilford Elementary School teacher Sharon Dalton are just a few community members who will read to the students.