Since its opening in 1925, Fairfield Elementary School has served as the first modern multiclass elementary school in Massapequa, NY. It was established in the early 20th century and is now officially registered as a historical site by the Historical Society of the Massapequas during its 90th Anniversary.
A historical marker that is now in front of the Massapequa Avenue building was unveiled in celebration of this distinction. Members of the school community, alumni and members of the historical society came together to share the history of their beloved school. Several of whose roots date back over six generations to Massapequa.
“It is an honor for us to receive this prestigious designation, and we look forward to our students taking part in this important day in Fairfield history,” stated Fairfield principal Lori Dano. Band members from Fairfield Elementary School performed a song written by the school’s members in 1925 when the school was built, known as “Tea for Two,” as some of the school’s first alumni supported the gesture by gently swaying in their chairs.
One of them was Lillian Rumfield Bryson, a fourth generation Massapequan, who entertained the crowd with a version of her family’s long history as inhabitants of Massapequa. Among them, Wilma Diehl, a fifth generation Massapequan who attended Fairfield High school, graduated from the Massapequa School District as well, and dedicated her entire career to educating students in Massapequa. She was the first woman to work as Assistant Superintendent for Schools at Fairfield Elementary School and retired in 1986.
Opening its doors in the fall of 1925, the school was originally called Massapequa School and had 79 students from Kindergarten to 8th grade. The school was renamed Fairfield Elementary School in 1953, and today the school serves 580 students from K to 6th grade. The school's Superintendent, Lucille F. Iconis, highlighted the beauty of the building and its original wood floors and fireplaces which were part of what made the school so special. “It is a school with a distinguished history and character, with children who are indeed persons of character,” she said.
Several students took turns giving presentations on the history of their school and community, including famous people and notable celebrations when the school was built. With cheers and applause, the new historical marker was unveiled after everyone sang a rendition of the Fairfield School Spirit Song.
“It is a unique building and looks just as good as it did many years ago,” said William Colfer, President of the Historical Society of the Massapequas. “It is the most well preserved structure in the district.”
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