Birthday cake, playground fun, meet-and-greets kick off school year at Kelso

PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Students, parents and teachers, past and present, celebrated 40 years of Kelso Elementary on Aug. 29. On Tuesday, Sept. 3, Oregon Trail School District students started their new school year. But before Kelso Elementary kids returned to hit the books, they had some end-of-summer fun for the history books.

The school community of Kelso gathered Thursday, Aug. 29, for a joint back-to-school bash and 40th birthday party.

Educators and students, past and present, turned out for the event, including one of the founding teachers, Cathy Rousett, who taught at Kelso from 1979 through 2003, then substitute taught until 2010.

PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Students came to Kelso's 40th birthday bash to meet their new teachers, play and enjoy birthday cake on Aug. 29. "I came out because I wanted to see all of my former students and friends," Rousett told The Post. "It was always a family here. We looked out for each other. I wanted to experience the feeling of Kelso again."

The event included food for purchase, birthday cake, a resource fair for families, a bounce house and meet-and-greets with teachers.

Elizabeth Carroll, a teacher in the structured learning center at Kelso, received excited reactions from students during the party. And, she said she's equally excited for the school year to start. "I'm looking forward to seeing my students," Carroll said.

PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Birthday cake was offered to celebrate Kelso Elementary's 40th year at the back-to-school event. Jackson Kuhn, a fifth-grader, said the teachers at Kelso are his favorite part, besides spending time with friends. "I'm excited to have a nice teacher and good friends," he told The Post. "I get to sit by some of the nicest people I know at school. I like that there are nice teachers and friends who care about me."

"We wanted families to just have a fun time to be together," said Tamie Kuhn, Kelso Community Club president and event organizer. "I'm really pleased with the turnout. It's nice to see the community come together. We wanted to tie it into back to school to ease kids back in with a fun experience."

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