Decker Lake Elementary School (DLES) is 100 years old and to honour the history of the school and celebrate the future, the school hosted a small celebration.
“To mark our school’s centenary, we wanted to include the public in our celebrations but because of restrictions related to the pandemic we had to keep the celebration at only a school-level. On June 16, the staff and students enjoyed a serving of birthday cupcakes and our school secretary, Mrs. Vossen, sang a lovely rendition of “Happy Birthday” over the P/A announcements. In addition to this, we will have a new sign erected at the entrance of our school that marks the year of establishment,” said Wendy Kelemen, principal for DLES.
The school was first constructed in 1920 as a log building at the old town site. When Highway 16 came to Burns Lake the next year and was completed all the way to Endako, Decker Lake residents were suddenly connected to the southern parts of B.C. with ease and that brought many travellers and residents to settle around the highway. This made the school’s initial location inconvenient for the students and the school was moved to a second location.
Until 1930s the school location remained the same and later, old records show that scouting for a new location was started.
“In 1980, I was a kindergarten student at Decker Lake Elementary School and have fond memories of going for nature walks with our teacher, Mrs. Sadler. A few decades later, it is a real honor to be back at this school and a member of the school team,” said Kelemen.
From a school in a loghouse with a barrel stove and poor heating to the Decker Lake Elementary School, as it is now, was opened on October 3, 2002.
”While life in a one-room schoolhouse may have changed over time, the one feature of Decker Lake Elementary School that has remained steadfast is the sheer amount of community support for our school!” said Kelemen.
“With so many changes taking place in the world today, it is a privilege to be a part of this school that has withstood 13 changes in Prime Ministers over the course of its history! As a staff, we look forward to working with first, second, and third generation families in the years to come! Happy birthday, DLES!”