The school is almost exactly as I remember it, all the way down to the folding lunch tables stored in the front of the all-purpose room. The library found its way down the hall to larger quarters and renamed itself as a "media room" (ack!), but otherwise the school appears to have completely avoided evolution.
Until now. The Montgomery County Public Schools is tearing the building down in January and replacing it with a three-story "green" primary educational facility. That certainly sounds like a MCPS thing to do; in fact, they tore down my junior high school a couple of years ago and now are in the process of rebuilding it. So while my alma mater is still standing, I decided to make one last trip to the school.
When I was a child, Cresthaven sported ubiquitous Maryland landscaping: green grass, misshapen azaleas, and spindly oak trees. Those oaks are now gentle giants who inspired a rush of childhood remembrance: my saddle-shoed feet plowing through ever-abundant brown, brittle oak leaves and their companion acorns. Those sturdy seeds looked like tiny heads just waiting for a face. I liked to play with acorns, popping the woody tan hat to expose the acorn's bald spot and then searched diligently for telltale worm holes. Rolling the acorn around in my palm, I tried in vain to break the shell, settling finally for pressing the pointy neck deep into my thumb. Even then, I marveled that such a tiny seed could one day produce a glorious tree. Thinking back, I realize I was also a resilient, little acorn just waiting to grow.
And grow I did. Under the careful tutelage of my elementary school teachers - Mrs. Ness, Mrs. Bauer, Ms. Cochran, Miss Beasley, and Mr. Ritter - I received a simply stellar education. God bless you all - and thank you. I pray the students who attend the new, improved Cresthaven Elementary get even half the education I did. If they do, they will most certainly grow into mighty oaks themselves.