SPRING HILL — Each time Kathleen Marcucci walked by the cornerstone at Powell Middle School, she kept thinking: The 1984-85 school year, when Powell opened, was 25 years ago; somehow that ought to be recognized.
Marcucci, an eighth-grade social studies teacher at the school, made mention of it to principal Dave Dannemiller, and Dannemiller told her to go ahead and plan something. The next thing Marcucci knew, she was heading up the anniversary committee.
On Thursday night, all of the work and planning paid off as the school celebrated a quarter century of existence.
There were balloons and refreshments, remarks from Ken Bonfield, the principal who opened the school in the fall of 1984, and a slide show taken from yearbooks.
And there were gifts.
One was a quilt, a Marcucci project. She had invited students past and present to purchase squares of cloth for $1 to decorate and be incorporated into a memory quilt.
The finished product was presented to the school at the celebration and will hang in the library.
The other gift to the school, which was dedicated Thursday night, was the Anniversary Garden. The creation of the garden was directed by exceptional student education teacher and student government adviser Luke Albert and eighth-grade social studies teacher Keith Carsillo. They worked with student government members to design, dig and plant.
A centerpiece of the garden is a Japanese blueberry tree, planted as a memorial to a Powell student who died in an accident in December 2009. The student government purchased the tree, which, Albert said, went in first, with the rest of the garden arranged around it.
Other plants include tea olive bushes, Italian cypress, Bufordi holly, podo carpus, silverthorn, loro petelum, thryallis and cana lilies.
"We did some fundraiser, including an anniversary dance," Albert said.
The group also sold concessions at a Fun Day, a sports competition among the school's four "houses" — the yellow stingers, blue bombers, green goblins and purple dragons.
"We raised over $500 in Fun Day," said sixth-grader Alyssa Bohnsack, 11, the student government secretary, "and paid $115 for the tree."
Another highlight of the celebration was the awarding of plaques to six staff members who have been at the school since its inception. They were eighth-grade science teacher Jackye Floyd, guidance counselor Marilyn Haskedakes, receptionist/secretary Loretta Schwefringhaus, eighth-grade social studies teacher Peter Crawford, eighth-grade math teacher Ricardo Hudson and technology lab teacher Steve Stora.
School alumni were showcased during the evening's entertainment. Several joined the school band and choir for selections directed by former teachers and current ones.
The band director from 1996 to 2002, Kathy Thompson, took one turn as band conductor, with the current director, Amanda Mole, playing in the band as an alumnus.
Former band director and current choir director David Pletincks had a chance to direct the band before the singers took to the stage.
He and the choir director before him, Debbie Edwards, had chances to direct Powell's advanced choir, with alumni guests.
The celebration included a souvenir 25th anniversary booklet full of history and photos. Visitors walked away with many memories in their hands.