Memories: May students created many memories before the school closed, including their annual Black History Month celebration.File 2009

What will future Austin students find in May School’s time capsule in the year 2033?

Students and staff of the now closed Austin school commemorated their last day on June 18 by burying a time capsule on school grounds. Last Tuesday was an emotional day for the May School community.

“It’s bittersweet in terms of saying goodbye,” said school Principal Roger Lewis said, adding that he wonders what the future holds for his students.

May, along with four other Austin neighborhood schools, is shuttering this month. In all, 49 schools throughout the city will close their doors with the conclusion of this current school year. At May, 512 S. Lavergne, June 18 also marked the school’s last graduation.

To commemorate their time their, staff and faculty collected items for their capsule, which they buried beside the school’s playground. Lewis said it was emotional for everyone because of the memories, memories they hope will be preserved in the capsule. Traditionally, the school creates a video highlighting the entire school year. But the staff wanted to do something special this year because of the school closing, Lewis said.

The plan is for the capsule to be opened 20 years from now. Each class was asked to select an item to include. Next fall, the students are slated to attend the newly-renamed George Leland Elementary School. It’s unclear, however, where May’s faculty and staff will be working this upcoming school year.

Jeff Hetrick, dean of students at May, said many of the students are sad their teachers are leaving, and that the community will miss the school. He’s also not sure where he’ll be working this fall. Although the school has been on probation, May has seen growth in test scores and attendance, according to Hetrick.

“It’s a sad for me, because it’s the end of May for me,” he said. “[Students] are sad they won’t see a lot of their former teachers. It’s unfortunate that students have to go through something like this.”

During last Tuesday’s closing ceremony, Lewis, along with Assistant Principal Ruthanne Tolliver, threw dirt in the hole as students watched. The time capsule was buried later that day.

“Your faces and your smiles have all been imbedded in my memory,” Lewis said. “[May] will always be forever, so thank you all.”

Saying goodbye

Here’s a poem a student wrote about May’s closing. They lyrics were placed in the time capsule.


It’s so hard to say goodbye

Because everybody wants to cry

They are changing our school

And that’s not very cool

Everybody is always sad

Everybody is quite mad

I hope this year was a blast

Because in my eyes it will last

I hope you will all will feel my pain

When I say it’s so hard to say goodbye.