Several hundred people turned out Sunday afternoon to celebrate the 80th birthday of a school known for its family-like atmosphere.
The festive occasion marked the anniversary of the opening of Cordley School, 1837 Vt.
"The people are so friendly that I like to come back," said Paul Dickens, principal at the school from 1968 to 1983. "They make everybody feel welcome."
Partygoers mingled in the school gymnasium. They talked and ate birthday cake and cookies, and sipped punch or coffee. The event was sponsored by the school's parent-teacher association.
Joining Dickens were two other former principals: Verlin Gilbert and Janet Broers.
"I try to come back when they have the chili supper or when they have something special," said Broers, who left Cordley in 1994 after eight years to become principal at Sunflower School, 2621 Inverness Dr.
Broers, who described Cordley as "a true neighborhood school," said, "I think one of the nicest things I remember about Cordley was the family feeling we had."
Gilbert was Cordley's principal for about three years, and he taught sixth-grade students at the school for five years before that. When he left Cordley in 1968, he became principal at Deerfield School, 101 Lawrence Ave., where he stayed until his retirement in 1992.
At Cordley, he said, "The families were just wonderful, supportive families."
That holds true today, said Cordley's present principal, Tom Christie.
"You have that feeling of community in the building," he said. "I guess it's kind of exciting that same feeling was here in the 1960s."