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School Community Pays Tribute to Maple and Twin Beach

Closed Walled Lake Consolidated district elementary schools honored in ceremonies Sunday.

Hundreds turned out to and elementary schools to reconnect and reminisce on the schools which will be graduating their final classes this week.

Walled Lake Consolidated Schools teachers and administrators past and present were among those offering public comment as part of the district's programming. The tone seemed to suggest unity in difficult times.

"We're a very big family," said Nancy van Leuwen, a current school board member and retired teacher from Twin Beach. "Those thoughts, those feelings, that caring, that love will continue as long as we're around."

The school board voted to close schools last summer in part due to . Both Twin Beach and Maple — built in 1954 and 1972, respectively — prospered during a "boom" period for schools construction, said Richard Miles, who served on the school board from 1961-73.

Current and former students talked and played comfortably on the playground at Twin Beach, while retired teacher Randa Feldman recalled incidents of memorable discomfort in earlier years. Oakley Park Road had not been paved yet, she said, and children would asked her to spray them with water after recess to get excess dirt off of themselves.

Students contributed to the ceremonies as well. Twin Beach student council president Robert Wisniewski spoke, along with Maple students Jessica Clemons, Zachary Yono, Christina Thomas, and Taryn Raisanen. The Twin Beach choir, including grades 3-5, sang three songs.

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