New Killeen Schools Complete Time Capsule Ceremonies

Time capsules mark end of first year
By: Todd Martin
With the school year winding down, four elementary schools marked the end of their first year with a message to future students.
Thanks to the generous donation of former Killeen ISD teacher and Killeen High School Class of 1968 graduate Clarence Heim, students at four new schools dedicated time capsules for their successors to open.
On Thursday, a week before the last day of school, fifth-graders at Pat Carney Elementary School gathered at the edge of the school property to bury a capsule set to be unearthed in 20 years.
A day before, the first-ever fifth-graders at Killeen Elementary School celebrated the end of their first year at the new school in the same way, with a time capsule set to be opened in 30 years.
Pershing Park Elementary School used its annual Cinco de Mayo celebration May 5 to dedicate its time capsule, scheduled to be opened in 25 years.
Clifton Park Elementary School dedicated its time capsule April 21, connecting the ceremony to Earth Day and planting a tree to commemorate the day.
All four ceremonies noted the unique challenges of the past three years related to pandemic and noted the joys of opening a new school, while recording facts about 2022.
The capsule at Carney Elementary School contains paper currency, including $2 bills and a roll of pennies, set to be no longer minted within the year, as well as a class photo and class list of the school’s first fifth-graders and flyers and news stories about the opening of the school.
School counselor James Bilberry, a 40-year educator who came out of retirement this year to join the Carney staff helped organize the school’s time capsule ceremony.
“It’s a way for students to remember,” he said. “This is a unique time in education. Some of these items, people might not even know about in 20 years,” noting the currency and a protective mask placed in the capsule.
“I think it helps our students be connected to our campus,” said Carney Principal Paige Gawryszewski. “We’re wrapping up our first year and this is a chance to reflect on the year. In 20 years, they might be able to come back and reminisce.”
At Killeen Elementary School, fifth-grader Caedyn Proctor read a letter included in the school’s time capsule.
“We get to see memories of the past,” said Proctor, the school’s Exchange Student Council president. “Others can see how the past was.”
The Killeen Elementary capsule includes a Kangaroo mascot, a protective face mask, currency, a fifth-grade class photo and artifacts related to the school’s opening.
“I’m excited to be able to look back at our old self,” said Proctor. “The first year has been fun.”
His printed letter pointed out that Killeen Elementary combined East Ward and West Ward elementary schools and that it adopted a new mascot, the Joeys. It also identified the current U.S. president, the cost of various items and named current celebrities.
“It’s important for a community to have hope,” said Killeen Elementary Principal Tammy Thornhill. “This is a way for kids to think about the future.”
At Pershing Park Elementary School, Principal Jessica Taylor and a pair of fifth-grade students, with Heim, presented a time capsule prior to a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
It included current currency, a bitcoin, items with the new Pershing Park Puma logo, photos, a mask and sanitizer, pictures and programs from the school year and a paper flower representing the Cinco de Mayo event.