Burbank School's last day of school forever

Friday, May 24th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

School's out for good at Burbank Public Schools, near Pawhuska.

Budget problems forced the Osage County school district to be annexed into other schools for the next school year. News on Six reporter Patrina Adger was there as students and staff said their goodbyes.

The students at Burbank Public School are enjoying the last day of school with their friends. Playing on the seesaw and going down slides. And it's the last time; they'll do it here. "It's a pretty sad day for Burbank.” "If I cry it's really not anything new. I'm just expecting to cry." "Boys and Girls I hope you have a nice summer. I really enjoyed having you in my class." First and Second Grade teacher Irene Gauger was a student here and says as a teacher it's hard to say goodbye, "Unbelievably. You know, I've lost so much."

After 31 years of teaching, Gauger says not only is she losing her job but also she's losing her kids. "They're my kind of kids. They're just wonderful little kids. They're just fantastic." And her students are also finding it hard to say goodbye. "I like her very much and I don't really want to leave the school because she's been great teacher." "The teachers are wonderful here and I'm not ready for her to go to a bigger school."

Next year, the kindergarteners through eighth graders will go to bigger comprehensive schools in the area. As the school's principal and superintendent, Todd Williams knew coming in a year ago that the school would shut down. The school's battled financial difficulty for years. "It's all about finances and the fact that the population has dwindled."

And while many students expected this would happen. It’s still hard for many to leave behind the place where they first learned their ABC's. "I started crying because I didn't want to leave the school." "I'm gonna miss all the teachers and all the people I've gone to school with forever." And it's just as hard for the teachers to let go.

The school was built in the early 1900s. They plan to turn the school building into something for the community to enjoy.