Pride Night adds Lions to Panthers

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

 

What happens when you hold the biggest elementary school event of the year and add 90 students to the school's population in just one day?

You get a zoo.

Ellsworth Panthers and Crestline Lions came together Thursday evening for Pride Night, where elementary school students showcased their work and performed in the school gym. The annual event

attracts more than 1,000 community members each year.

"Crestline, we are thinking of you" read the school's sign as people crowded into the gym.

Teachers hoped the event would help welcome Crestline students to the campus community and give them a better feel for what they can expect. Teachers wore their red "I love Crestline" T-shirts that they donned earlier in the day and sold additional T-shirts in the library to help raise money for school supplies.

It was hard to tell who was from Crestline and who was from Ellsworth. After all, they all looked like proud parents and eager students.

"They've had a big day," said teacher Erin Bunn of the Crestline students. She expected Crestline parents would visit Pride Night after going to the evening's benefit fundraisers at Burgerville.

Principal Jerry Evans said the student population went from 440 on Wednesday to 530 on Thursday, with the addition of Crestline students.

"It's been a very busy day, a good day," he said.

While people hopped from classroom to classroom checking out the students' latest projects, classroom No. 14, now a Crestline classroom, was dark and empty. Boxes were stacked by the door and a few clusters of desks were still awaiting obvious signs of student activity.

A bulletin board outside the classroom was filled with artwork welcoming Crestline students. Among the colorful drawings of panthers and lions was a sign reading, "It will be the best year ever!"