Robert Prewitt — the first principal at Colony Oak School — said it was a quieter time in Ripon when the new school’s students and staff buried a time capsule on the campus in June of 1991 with the idea to open it 25 years later.
Prewitt, who still lives nearby, will be on hand Thursday, April 28, when Colony Oak School celebrates its 25th anniversary with an open house that will include a student talent show and the opening of the time capsule. The event will also serve as an opportunity for the school district to share with parents and the community the upcoming major makeover for the Colony Oak campus. The open house is from 5:45 to 8 p.m., with classrooms open from 5:45 to 6:30 p.m. The talent show is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the multi-purpose room followed by the opening of the time capsule.
Prewitt was principal of the K-3 school when it opened in the fall of 1990 with a few portable buildings on Murphy Road. Mary Lou Kahl subsequently took over the reins as principal for the next 13 years that saw fourth through eighth grades added to push enrollment to over 400 students. The time capsule was designed using a four-inch diameter section of PVC pipe. Prewitt said he couldn’t recall the name of the dad who built the time capsule, but hoped he would be present Thursday night. he kids were imagining what the world would be like in 25 years when the capsule would be opened,” Prewitt remembered. “It’s going to be interesting when it is popped open.”
Kahl was hoping to be present for the opening. Ill health does not make that possible. She offered her love and best wishes to the school community on the opening of the capsule and 25th anniversary celebration. When Prewitt left Colony Oak he became the principal of Ripon Elementary School near the city’s downtown. He added his hope that many of the school’s former and retired teachers would be able to attend the open house.
Prewitt said there are only two of the earlier elementary school teachers still on staff — Stephanie Pratt and Karen Treick.
Treick retired several years ago but went back to the school to serve in a volunteer capacity.