Past present and Future Celebrated at EES Opening Ceremony for New Easton Elementary School
An Opening Ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of the Easton Elementary School Replacement Project on Wednesday September 30 at 2:00 p.m. Due to pandemic restrictions, only a small group of public officials and invited guests were in attendance, however the ceremony was video-taped to be shared with the public on a larger scale.
Dr. Kelly L. Griffith, Talbot County Superintendent delivered opening remarks, which were followed by an Invocation from the Rev. Paul Martins, First Baptist Church, Easton, MD. Other speakers included Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Juanita Hopkins, President, Talbot County Board of Education, Mr. Corey Pack, President, Talbot County Council and Mr. Walter Black, Robert Russa Moton High School Alumnus, Class of 1954. The Blessing of the New School was given by the Reverend Oscar Armando Reyes, Pastor, Iglesia Evangelica Emanuel.
A musical selection was performed by members Easton High School Warrior Chorale, directed by Mrs. Laura Spies. The celebration also included reflections about the history of the Moton and Dobson Buildings, the contributions and impact made by Mr. Robert Russa Moton and William Edward Dobson, Jr. and the unveiling of commemorative plaques honoring Mr. Moton, Mr. Dobson, and the Moton Alumni.
A number of other special guests were in attendance, including members of the Talbot County Council Chuck Callahan and Frank Divilio; Members of the Talbot County Board of Education Michael Garman, Emily Jackson, April Motovidlak, Mary Wheeler and Otis Sampson; Senator Addie Eckardt, Delegate Johnny Mautz, and Delegate Chris Adams; Melissa Kelly, From Senator Van Hollen’s office, Barbara Sauers from the Office of Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Michael Arntz representing Congressman Andy Harris; and Mr. Albert Brooks, Moton High School Alumnus.
The 128,000 square foot state of the art school building was built by Whiting Turner Contracting Company under the management of Mr. Logan Street, and was designed by Thomas H. King, Principal of Noelker and Hull Associates architectural firm. It was designed to replace two separate schools on the same site - the Dobson School for grades pre-K-1 and the Moton School for grades 2-5. Since both schools had to remain in operation while the new school was being built, the new building was designed to fit around the Moton School so it could remain in operation. The heritage of the former school buildings is preserved in the new building's Pre-K - grade 1 wing, named for W. Edward Dobson, and the grades 2-5 wing, named for Dr. Robert Russa Moton. The lay-out allows for separate instructional programs for older and younger students.
“The new Easton Elementary school incorporates current principles for student and staff access and safety, “ Dr. Griffith explained. “It maximizes views of the outdoors, and includes features to bring daylight into the heart of the building. The school incorporates community use space, and is designed to allow public use without compromise to security,” she added. “Maya Angelou said, Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away. Doesn’t this magnificent building take your breath away? And our children deserve this!” Many students will enter the building for the first time on Monday October 12, when the District moves to the next stage of their Recovery Plan.