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Teachers, Students Past and Present Say Goodbye to Columbia - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Teachers, Students Past and Present Say Goodbye to Columbia

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Two elementary schools in Fluvanna County took a huge hit this year to help balance the books.

Both Cunningham and Columbia are slated to close at the end of the month. Now those with ties to the schools are celebrating memories.

Thursday night teachers, students and parents with ties to Columbia Elementary gathered to share memories made in the small school.

It was one of the last chances to see the school before it closes its doors for good.

"You can close the building but Columbia is going to live on for a pretty long time in the hearts and minds of all the people who went to school here," said Mel Sheridan.

Columbia has been part of the Sheridan family for generations. Following in his mother Mary Jane's footsteps, Mel Sheridan went to Columbia and so did his children.

"I traveled all around the world with the military but honestly I never found anywhere I liked better than central Virginia and two of my four sons are here with us who went to Columbia," Mel said.

Now his grandchildren go there too. All were there along with many others to say goodbye to the tight-knit school. They shared songs, pictures and, most importantly, memories of the school they say is unique.

"What makes Columbia so special is it's one of the last true community schools. We only have about 115 students here and we know these kids inside and out," said Janet Harper, assistant principal.

When the doors close for good at the end of the month, many say it will be the children they miss most.

"It will definitely be the kids. I only taught here one year but this was the best class by far. Hands down the best kids I've ever taught," said teacher Skyler Fox.

But many hope this is just a temporary end to the school they love so much.

"I still have hopes that it will be reopened again. You never know," said Mary Jane Sheridan.

The closing ceremony for Cunningham is Friday. That event starts at the elementary school at 6:30 p.m. 

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