Celebrating 40 Years of Woodland

Celebrating 40 Years of Woodland
Tanya Spishak

Dancing to Footloose, wearing Wildcat ears, honoring Woodland’s founder, and playing carnival games were among the festivities to celebrate Woodland’s 40th year.

40th decades dress

Events kicked off with an all-community Essembly, where students, parents, alumni and former employees came together virtually to learn fun facts from the past 40 years (thank you ASB Club), hear from a Woodland alumna who is now a Woodland parent, watch classmates boogy to 80’s party anthem Celebrate by Kool and the Gang, and cap off the proceedings with surprise guest, Mr. Madden, sharing a few jokes (Where do saplings go to learn? Elementree school!) 

Spirit Week continued with Tuesday Tunes on the new blacktop as students danced at lunchtime to classic 80s songs. On Wildcat Wednesday, students sported multicolored wildcat ears followed by a lot of neon on Thursday’s Decades Dress Day. Buddy Lunch on Friday featured Guess the Decade with buddy teams trying to pinpoint the debut of Home Alone and the heyday of pagers, among other brain teasers.  

new play structure

The grand finale was a community-wide party at Woodland on Saturday, October 2nd. More than 350 guests gathered on campus for the first large in-person event in 18 months to celebrate 40 years of Woodland history and community. With layered COVID-19 protocols including proof of vaccination, face coverings, and gatherings by division, Woodland balanced safety and fun with photo booths, carnival games, a scavenger hunt based on school history, along with the grand opening of our new multi-station play structure. 

Lynne Nelson Tree

The day also featured an opportunity to remember Woodland’s founder, Lynne Nelson, with tributes and a sempervirens tree planted in her memory. Often translated as “everlasting,” sempervirens has special meaning at Woodland, lending its name to a cherished student award and featured prominently in Woodland's first logo. Like the core virtues and beloved traditions that last through today, the memorial tree and Woodland are poised to thrive for many years to come.

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