When the bell rang yesterday afternoon it marked the final day of school for kids at Emerson Elementary in Marion. It also marked the final day that the school would hold classes. Grades K-2 will move to the new Longfellow Elementary school building this fall. My kids, like so many before them, said goodbye to Emerson.

According to the stones in the building itself, Emerson Elementary began its history as a school in 1929. That means thousands of kids have made their way through the hallways of the school during the past 88 years. Not only did my three kids go to Emerson, but one of their grandmothers did too. I'm sure many families can trace their roots to the school. It's part of growing up in a small community.

Ryan Brainard

Like many older school buildings, the time had come for Emerson to give way to a more modern and up to date school. I remember how hot it would get in the classrooms when the Iowa heat burnt down on the brick building. There was no designated computer lab. The gym was small by most standards. But what made Emerson home for my kids over the years were the people. The teachers and employees there were second to none. They cared about my kids. They cared that they developed not only in academics but also socially. The line of communication was always open, as was the door to the office if we ever had concerns.

Yesterday, all the classes gathered one final time in the hallway. They counted down the final school bell of the year. The final bell for Emerson.