Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Standing Vigilant for 87 Years

As part of our effort to upgrade the facade of Lee Middle & High School, and recreate what once was considered the gem of the Godfrey-Lee Public School district, the two black iron lanterns alongside the main front entrances were removed this past summer, completely reconditioned and reinstalled, now ready for new glass and re-lighting.  

These "lamps of learning" have stood vigilant since the very first students set foot in a "new" Lee Street School on a cold, wet November day in 1923.  While their usefulness as the sole exterior lighting diminished with time, they continued for decades to be identified with the image of this great institution. Each year they welcomed a new group of freshmen and bade farewell to the graduating class of seniors. Through good times as well as times of strife, through depression and times of war, the tirelessly beckoned the inhabitants of the school to always do their best so they could go out and make something of themselves.  

But sometime toward the end of the '60's, the two lanterns were extinguished, coinciding with the start of several decades of decline throughout the Godfrey-Lee community, a condition that often found its way into the halls of Lee school. You might say it was a period symbolized by the cold, dark blank stares of the lanterns themselves.  Now more than four decades later the lanterns have been given new life and will once again light the way for generations of students to come.  So too has the old Lee Street School been given "new life" with its changing outlook on preparing every student, regardless of background and means, for unequivocal success in college and career.