CHARLESTON, W.Va. — North Carolina resident Allison Adams says she made a special trip to Charleston Tuesday to take part in the memory walk at the soon to close Grandview Elementary School.

Former students walked the halls Tuesday. (Photo/MetroNews)

“My sixth grade elementary school teacher changed my life,” Adams said as she walked out of her old classroom in North Charleston where Donna Bailey was her teacher a few decades ago.

Bailey, who died in recent years, left an impression on Adams who admitted she didn’t really like school until that sixth grade year.

“My mom was a teacher so school was okay but after sixth grade I loved it. She (Bailey) was wonderful. She was very enthusiastic about learning and gave lots of methods about how to learn and we had a very small class,” Adams recalled.

Grandview Principal Brian Wooten said he enjoyed hearing similar stories from former students as they walked the halls Tuesday afternoon.

“It just goes to show how an educator can really have an impact on a young mind that can last forever,” Wooten told MetroNews. “It gives me goose bumps thinking the kind of impact we can really have on our children.”

Grandview, which opened at its current site in the 1960s, is suffering a similar fate that many small West Virginia schools have in recent years, school officials have determined they are too small to stay open. Kanawha County is closing three elementary schools when the school year ends on Thursday.

Grandview Elementary is located in North Charleston. (Photo/MetroNews)

Former student Dave Tucker said he hadn’t set foot in Grandview since he finished there more than three decades ago.

“It kind of breaks your heart that a great school like this is closing. I hate that it’s closing. School consolidation is never great for the kids,” Tucker said.

Grandview’s kids will go to either Edgewood Elementary or Mary C. Snow Elementary, each less than 10 miles away. Wooten said they’ve worked hard to bring the school communities together.

“We’ve had some family nights with both schools, Mary C. (Snow) and Edgewood. so families have been able to go and see the new school and do some family activities with that,” Wooten said. “I think it’s going to go really well and I think our Eagles here are going to be taken into good hands with both of those schools.”

The current Grandview students buried a time capsule near the school’s flag pole earlier Tuesday. Kanawha County Schools is going to use the building for Title I offices and a current Head Start program beginning next fall.

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