All former students, teachers and administrators of East Paris Elementary School are invited to take part in an ‘all-school reunion’ Saturday, November 11, from 2-4 p.m. the Gallery Room at the Paris Public Library, 236 North Main Street. This will be a ‘come-and-go’ affair and refreshments will be served.
Event organizers invite attendees to bring school photographs, pennants, and any remembrances of the school which was located between Cleveland and Hubbard streets from 20th S.E. to 22nd S.E. from 1922-1980.
Surprisingly, there has never been an East Paris Elementary School (EPES) reunion and this event was encouraged by former teacher, W.T. ‘Butch’ Burns who taught at the school from 1966-1973. There is an active ‘East Paris Elementary School Alumni’ page with over 690 followers who have been sharing memories of their time on the school grounds and wonderful memories have been shared.
“Ironically this reunion came about because many former EPES Dragons were posting photos of their class pictures and I noted I lost mine in our house fire and Mr. Burns messaged me and asked if I would be home in about an hour or so,” said Derald Bulls, one of the planners of the reunion. “Sure enough, he and his wife pulled in the driveway and delivered his copy of our class photo as a gift and the discussion began there.” In addition, Burns provided a number of other color prints from his years of teaching and black and white pictures of students he taught during his tenure at the school. He later moved to Cooper ISD where he served many years, retiring as a principal.
According to a feature in the Paris News when the Paris ISD turned 100 years old, East Paris School was originally located on Lamar Avenue, roughly in the 2400-2500 block, and was an independent school district. It was rebuilt in 1922 to become part of the PISD and moved to the location fronting Cleveland Street and remained open until A.M. Aikin Elementary School was built on Pine Mill Road in 1980.
Reunion participants will enjoy sharing stories, memories, and hopefully reconnecting with alumni through the years. Members of the planning committee are Tommy Felty, Jim Davis, Janie Bonham, Dianne Steelman Marrs, and Derald Bulls. Donations will be accepted to off-set the expenses of the event. To learn more, check out the Facebook page of EPES Alumni.