This year Iduma Elementary School has been focused on 40 years – the past 20 and the next 20.
The school first opened in 2003, at the time on the far western edge of the developed city of Killeen.
To mark the milestone, students and staff took part in a week of homecoming with dress-up days and a culminating movie night.
That evening was meant to include the burial of a time capsule, but rain moved the movie night inside the cafeteria and delayed the ceremony.
As students and staff return from the week of Thanksgiving, the school will turn toward the second half of its anniversary and look forward to the next 20 years.
In addition to burying the time capsule marker and locking away the actual collection of memories, the school will observe College and Career Readiness Week, focused on current students’ plans for their future.
“We celebrated the journey of 20 years,” said Principal Katy Bohannan. “Now, we’re going to celebrate the next 20 years and talk about what their lives will be like. We’re turning the page.”
A College and Career Fair is scheduled Dec. 1.
Students packed a small suitcase with notes and drawings, including their names, birth places and some of their likes and dislikes and goals for the future to make up a time capsule.
A timeline of photos and mementoes is posted on the main hallway of the school where students, staff and guests can get a look at the history from 2003 to 2023.
Fifth-graders Cesilia Puente and Isabella Nash, both Iduma Ambassadors, see 20 years as a long time.
“It’s very old,” said Puente, “but it doesn’t look that old,” she said of the school.
Considering the time capsule, Nash said it’s like a bookcase of valuables you put away and look at again in a year or two or 20.
“It’s pretty exciting,” she said of the anniversary and contributing to the milestone. “When you open it up, you get to see your past and remember what you liked and didn’t like.”
Puente said she wrote that she wanted to be an artist or a fashion designer. “Other people in the future can look at it and relate to me,” she said, pointing out that she would be 30 years old when that happens.
“I like to draw and read and do a lot of arts and crafts,” she said.
Looking at the board, the students observed early residents of a Bell County community once called Hog Mountain, which changed to Iduma to help attract more residents, according to local history.
They were more interested in the early school photos of Iduma staff members and students.
“They had different styles,” said Nash. “It was the 2000s.”
The two school ambassadors have played their part in the school’s history. Nash has attended school at Iduma since pre-kindergarten and Puente since first grade.
“It feels like home,” said Nash, “a home away from home. We’ve known so many people here.”
When the school opened, Judy Tyson was principal. She and Bohannon are the only principals the school has ever known.
There are currently 15 original staff members still at Iduma Elementary School and there are four staff members who attended Iduma as students.