On Tuesday current students, alumni and past staff members gathered at Kyrene Monte Vista Elementary School to celebrate the past and present at the school’s 20th anniversary celebration.

The celebration featured songs, reading and reminiscing. Since opening in 1989, Monte Vista is on its third principal, and both of the past principals were in attendance.

“It’s unusual for schools to keep principals as long as we did,” Elaine Villarreal, who has been the secretary at Monte Vista since it opened, said. “We were very fortunate.”

Carla Fisher, who is in her 11th year of teaching at Monte Vista, said that the students really enjoyed seeing the past principals, Dr. Gary Murphy and Dr. Georgia Shimkus.

“The kids wanted to know what the principals do now and how old they are, and it was sweet because they kept asking them if they were grandparents yet,” Fisher said.

As part of the preparations for the anniversary event, Monte Vista’s PTO and anniversary committee created a timeline of the school’s history in one of the hallways.

“Every staff picture is up there, as well as most of our school T-shirts from over the years,” Villarreal said. “There’s all kinds of stuff up there that has happened over the years, and it will stay up for the rest of the year.”

Members of the community and alumni of Monte Vista are invited to stop by the school to take a look at the timeline.

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