Marking its 90th annivers ary, Fairfield Elementary School—the first modern multiclass elementary school in Massapequa—was officially registered as a historical site by the Historical Society of the Massapequas. In celebration of this distinction, the school community, historical society members and alumni—some of whom have roots in Massapequa that go back six generations—came together to share the history of their beloved school and unveil a historical marker that was erected in front of the building on Massapequa Avenue.
“We are truly honored to receive this prestigious designation and we are delighted that our students can be a part of this special day in Fairfield history,” said Fairfield principal Lori Dano.
Members of the Fairfield Elementary School band performed “Tea for Two,” a song released in 1925, the year the school was built, as some of the school’s first alumni welcomed the gesture by sweetly swaying in their chairs.
Among them were Lillian Rumfield Bryson, fourth generation Massapequan who entertained the crowd with her family’s long history as Massapequa residents, and Wilma Diehl, a fifth generation Massapequan who went to Fairfield, graduated from the Massapequa School District and devoted her entire career to educating children in Massapequa. She taught at Fairfield Elementary School and retired as the first female Assistant Superintendent of Schools in 1986.
The school was originally called the Massapequa School and served 79 K-8 students when it opened its doors in the fall of 1925. It became Fairfield Elementary School in 1953 and, today, 580 K-6 students are taught there. Superintendent of Schools Lucille F. Iconis spoke of the school’s beauty, noting its original wood floors and fireplaces that make the building special. “It’s a school with a special history; a school with character that has kids with character,” she said.
Student speakers presented historical facts about their school and community, pointing out famous people and milestones the year the building was built. After everyone was invited to sing a rendition of the Fairfield School Spirit Song, the historical marker was unveiled amid cheers and applause.
“It is a uniquely beautiful building and it looks the same as it did years ago,” said William Colfer, president of the Historical Society of the Massapequas. “It is very well maintained as are all the buildings in the district.”
—Submitted by Massapequa Public Schools