Skip to main content

Holladay Journal

Eastwood Elementary turns 60 and celebrates in style

Mar 16, 2020 01:32PM ● By Heather Lawrence

Kindergartners’ 1959-era song was “Splish Splash,” which they sang in their shower caps for Eastwood’s 60th birthday. (Heather Lawrence/City Journals)

By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]

Eastwood Elementary School at 3305 South Wasatch Boulevard was built in 1959–60. On Jan. 30, the school celebrated its 60-year legacy with displays, alumni, cake and student performances of songs from the era.

In the main foyer and halls, tables held Eastwood yearbooks and memorabilia. Other displays showed “things that were released the same year we were released,” said principal Naomi Hopf. 

From the displays, kids learned the first Barbie doll was released in 1959. It was the same year grocery stores started selling Cocoa Krispies and Cocoa Puffs. You were really cool if you had an ant farm, played Frisbee and took your best girl to the drive-in movie.   

In the gym, Hopf introduced Bill Souvall. Souvall attended the school the first year it opened. His granddaughter, Ellie Aramaki, is currently in second grade at Eastwood.

“All the classrooms were full that first year. Everything was just new. The restrooms were nice and the classrooms were new. There were barriers to keep us off the grass because they had just planted it,” Souvall said.

“The area was still so wild. Outside we found rattlesnakes, and one day we found a dead bobcat,” Souvall said.

Souvall remembers having a crush on his teacher Ms. Sharp. “She was a cutie — she had red hair. After my parents went to parent/teacher conference, my dad came home and said, ‘I can see your point,’” Souvall said.

“My mom saved all my old report cards. There are a lot of good memories. But the school does seem a lot smaller [now that I’m an adult],” Souvall said.

Next on the program was a performance by each grade. “Each grade learned a song from the year the school was built. They’ve had so much fun, and they’ve nailed them,” said Amy Bulut, who taught the songs to all the grades. Bulut works at the school and has two children who attend Eastwood.

The faculty and some older students sang and danced to “Rockin’ Robin.” They were followed by the third grade. With the girls dressed in poodle skirts, they sang “Personality” and showed they had plenty of it.  

The second grade warned everyone about the “One-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater.” Fifth grade invited everyone to dance by singing “At the Hop.”

First grade sang “Yakety Yak” and no one talked back. They all wore sunglasses, and a student at each end acted out the saxophone solo with a toy saxophone.

The fourth graders sang “Beep Beep.” With the help of two students using homemade cardboard cars, they demonstrated how it feels when the car behind you tries to pass up your Cadillac. And the kindergarteners donned shower caps and held rubber duckies to finish the night with “Splish Splash.”

After the performances, everyone moved into the hall for birthday cake. One kindergartner whose dad was also celebrating his birthday that night said she had fun singing “Splish Splash.” She said they’d practiced a lot, and after some prodding from her mom, remembered the songs were from the year the school opened.

Eastwood will continue to celebrate throughout the year. One tradition they’re looking forward to is dance fest on May 14.

“This year at the dance fest, we’re going to try to get enough people so we can ‘hug the school.’ We need lots of people from the community and all the students so that we can fit all the way around it. Then we’ll take a picture. So spread the word!” said Hopf.

Hopf said their school welcomes new students, even those outside Granite District. “Eastwood is a great community. We consistently test well. We have a smaller student body, and we accept lots of out of boundaries permits. We’re always looking for kids and families to join us that care about the community and are ready to learn.”