History of Sandburg Elementary

History of Sandburg Elementary School

Sandburg Elementary SchoolNorth Mira Mesa Annex School opened on May 1, 1971, with approximately 200 pupils, in eight classrooms situated in four houses. The garages served as administrative and support units. In June 1973, the district added three portables, and 16 were constructed on the site by October 1973, when the houses were turned back to the developer. Mrs. Bernadine Fuhrman was principal of this school when it opened, as well as principal of North Mira Mesa School (now Ericson).

Dr. Rosary Nepi was assigned principal in September 1972. The San Diego Unified School District's School Names Committee invited students and CAC (Community Advisory Committee) involvement in the selection of a permanent name. Four names, along with biographies, were given to each class, and a survey was conducted at each school. The children from North Mira Mesa Annex chose the name Carl Sandburg School and CAC members unanimously agreed to support their choice.

On November 21, 1972, the Board of Education unanimously approved the name of Carl Sandburg. A School Naming Ceremony was held in February 1973 in front of the garages. In November 1973, the students moved from the houses into the temporary district facilities. Mr. Edward Roff was assigned as principal in February 1973, Mrs. Kathy Kolk was the first president. The Sandburg CAC was established on September 27, 1973, and Mr. J. T. Matthews was the first chairperson.

The passage of Proposition XX in November 1974 made possible the construction of the permanent site that was dedicated May 20, 1976. Robert Platt and Associates were appointed as architects. On December 3, 1974, a School Advisory Planning Committee, consisting of community members, teachers and the school principal, was formed. This committee met with the architects and district officials on 19 different occasions, providing some community input into the design of the new structure.

The school features four flexible classroom buildings, each area designed to house about 180 students and six teachers. This flexible physical arrangement provides for varying combinations of teaching stations. A large multipurpose building serves the total school as a cafeteria, auditorium and instructional media center. Students from every classroom have an opportunity for supervised work and study in this media center. A modern Educational Service Unit provides all administrative support services for the school.

Carl Sandburg

Sandburg Elementary was named after Carl Sandburg. The school was dedicated on May 20, 1976.

Carl Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois, of Swedish parents on January 6, 1878, and he died at his home, named Connemara, in Flat Rock, North Carolina, on July 22, 1967. He lived to receive two Pulitzer Prizes, one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln: The War Years) and one for his collection The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg.

He was a novelist, a poet, a successful journalist, historian, children's author, balladeer and troubadour of American folk songs.

H. L. Mencken called Carl Sandburg "indubitably an American in every pulse-beat." Carl Sandburg is referred to in Sufjan Stevens' song "Come on! Feel the Illinoise!" off his Illinois album. The song speaks of Carl appearing as a ghost, and questioning "Are you writing from the heart?"

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