On Monday, January 27, students and faculty on the Historic Siesta Key Campus and the Uihlein Campus in Lakewood Ranch participated in a variety of activities to mark the monumental day in the history of our school. At both campuses, students rang each historic campus bell 95 times. ODA Archivist Mrs. Elizabeth Mahler presented a lively look back through 95 years of Out-of-Door history in interesting and informative sessions for each division. The Uihlein Campus also hosted an antique car show featuring cars from the 1920s to 2010s.
In classrooms at the Uihlein campus, teachers introduced techniques, lessons, ideas, and concepts used in eras long past. Mrs. Stone taught how to use a slide rule, Ms. Beeman guided students through a lesson from a chemistry textbook published in 1924, and Mr. Lemieux read works from 20s poet Pablo Neruda. Dr. Zitani’s class learned about flappers, Ms. Greenberg’s students learned how to dance the Charleston, Ms. Paas’ classes created surrealist collages, and Ms. Hoff introduced Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Igor Stravinsky, and Gershwin’s iconic “Rhapsody in Blue.”
At the Siesta Key Campus, students performed the ODA origin song, MITT students took black and white photos in the style of the 1920s, many classes were held outside, and teachers led discussions with their classes about what life was like nearly a century ago. Inspired by our founders, Lower School students had a picnic lunch on the field, and lucky pre-K and kindergarteners had rest time outside under a blue sky. At the end of the day, second through fifth grade assembled in the Kozel Amphitheater to play an ODA trivia version of “Who’s Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” led by Mrs. Pitts. The faculty panel of Coach Horr, Mrs. Cheney, Mrs. Banks, Mrs. Runge, and Mrs. Bryant gave it their all, but the fifth grade competitors came out ahead and were named champions of the game!
Looking back at 95 years of history reminds us of the strong roots established by our founders back in 1924. We are proud to maintain their innovative philosophy of educating the whole child with a focus on wellness as the school has grown and expanded to two campuses throughout the years.