Hualapai school preparing for coming 20th anniversary

Sandy Latimer and her husband, Roy, have lived in Kingman for 33 years and raised three children.

They wanted to make sure the children got a solid educational foundation, which Sandy believes they did by sending all of them through Hualapai Elementary School.

"I enjoy coming here, even now that they're out in the world," Sandy Latimer said.

"This is a good school."

Hualapai Elementary opened in late August 1982 with principal Betty Rowe unlocking the doors for the first time.

Barbara Sorensen, who has taught at Hualapai since it opened, said there were 21 teachers and 364 students in the fall of 1982.

Some students had to sit on the floor and do work in their laps.

"When we opened we had desks and chairs for our primary children but not for the older age group, so we set up tables," Rowe said.

"By Oct.

1, we started getting furniture for the older grades and set it up."

The school's cafeteria was not completed until November, Rowe said.

Rowe served as principal during 1982-93.

The architectural firm of Gilliland, Hunt and Rehse, Ltd designed the school.

It served as the model for Cerbat and Black Mountain elementary schools that later followed.

Latimer's son, Lee, entered the third grade when Hualapai opened.

Their daughter, Dawn, began the first grade that year and another daughter, Kristi, began school two years later.

Lee Latimer, 28, is the owner of Northwest Securities in Kingman.

Dawn and Kristi both live in Portland, Ore.

Dawn holds a bachelor's degree in electronics and makes computer chips for Lamb Intel Corp.

Kristi has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in Spanish and is an assistant to the administrator of the nonprofit Janus Organization, Sandy said.

Sorensen is a member of the Hual of Fame Committee, which tries to locate former students, parents and staff members and get them to share old photos, stories and memorabilia from the early years.

Roberta Yurcina, like Sorensen, has taught at Hualapai since 1982.

Other committee members with their starting year at Hualapai in parentheses are Nancy Rhoades (1983), Margaret Condict (1984) and Debbie Stipsky (1985).

The committee has compiled a "Where are They Now" questionnaire, which can be found on the Internet at http://kingmanazschools.com/hualapai/hualhome.htm.

It asks those who attended or worked at the school what they have done since leaving the school.

Questionnaires may be completed on-line or mailed to Hualapai Elementary School, 350 Eastern Ave., Kingman, Ariz.

86401.

Information submitted is confidential and will only be shared with permission, Sorensen said.

Hualapai's 20th anniversary celebration next year will include displays of school T-shirts, yearbooks, pictures of events, clubs and classes, student work through the years, plus anecdotes from former students, parents and staff.

Alumni are invited to visit the website or stop by the school and contact one of the committee members.

The school phone number is 753-1919.