Penns Valley

On Centre: Penns Valley | Memories of past classes don’t fade for 1st-grade teacher

Centre Hall Elementary School first-grade teacher Vickie Fultz displays some of the homemade yearbooks she has in her classroom. Fultz has been making yearbooks for each of her classes since 1988. She gives the yearbooks to her students at the end of the school year, and sends clips to each graduating senior she taught.
Centre Hall Elementary School first-grade teacher Vickie Fultz displays some of the homemade yearbooks she has in her classroom. Fultz has been making yearbooks for each of her classes since 1988. She gives the yearbooks to her students at the end of the school year, and sends clips to each graduating senior she taught. CDT photo

It’s been since about first grade that Dave Keller has seen a yearbook his Centre Hall Elementary School teacher made in 2004 for him and his class.

The Penns Valley Area High School senior recently pulled it out and told first-grade teacher Vickie Fultz he hasn’t seen it “in forever.”

“That’s the coincidences behind it all,” Fultz said.

“I’ve been working on this and a student told me he just found his old yearbook.”

When Fultz started teaching at Penns Valley Area School District 30 years ago, she began making yearbooks for her first-grade classes.

The idea started when she was at the primary school in Rebersburg, and she continued the project about 13 years ago when she switched schools to Centre Hall.

But she never forgot about each class.

By the time her students are seniors and ready to graduate, she pulls out the class’s yearbook, and sends photos from it to each student with a customized letter.

Last week she began to write the letters and sent them to the high school for each student.

Before the Class of 2015 graduates on Friday, each of her students will have received the gift.

“They’ll probably be called to the office to pick them up,” Fultz said.

“I wish I could only be a fly on the wall, but I think it’s a lot of fun for them to see it.”

In 2003-04, she had a class of 21 students. Fultz said 19 students in the class will graduate.

“Some kids leave town with their families and move away, but we usually have most of them stick around,” she said.

The yearbooks started out with photos of the class in black and white.

The first yearbook Fultz made was on a ditto machine.

It’s now in color and put together in binders, and is about 65 pages.

“It’s amazing how it’s changed with the progression of technology,” Fultz said.

“We document everything and then pull it all together.”

But as students move on, Fultz said she will continue to make the first-grade yearbook for her class and follow them though graduation.

“I think I have to do it for as long as I’m a teacher,” she said.

“I can’t just stop now. It’s a tradition.”

  Comments