Roosevelt Elementary Unveils Historic Artifact in Centennial Celebration

Roosevelt Elementary Unveils Historic Artifact in Centennial Celebration (courtesy)

Roosevelt Elementary School’s year-long centennial milestone continues to be celebrated, this time with a memorable assembly where Principal Valerie Galindo took center stage.  The event opened with a lively 1950s dance by enthusiastic kindergarten students, setting the tone for a spirited celebration. Principal Galindo then presented a significant artifact–the only remaining piece from the original Roosevelt building.

This artifact, once part of the original archway, was recovered by alumnus John Ahlman, a graduate of the class of 1958. In a light-hearted manner, Ahlman shared the story of how he acquired this piece of history, joking, “If I tell the story, I will probably get sent to the principal’s office.”  During the demolition of the school building, which happened because of earthquake safety concerns, Ahlman seized the opportunity to collect a piece of rubble, intending to keep it as a memento.

“I never forgot Roosevelt. I had this piece of artifact in my yard and decided to pay a visit to the school. I decided that it was important to the school and the staff to make a plaque,” explained Ahlman. “It was part of the entryway in Laguna and is all that is left.”

Ahlman’s words resonated with the audience, providing a glimpse into the rich history of Roosevelt Elementary. The relic, now mounted with a plaque, was graciously presented to the school as a cherished keepsake.

Principal Valerie Galindo, shared her excitement for the school’s centennial celebration, stating, “Today’s celebration was a tribute to Roosevelt’s strong sense of community and belonging. We love knowing that these core values have been part of Roosevelt’s history for 100 years.”

Galindo emphasized that Roosevelt’s spirit of connection remains as strong today as it was in the 1950s.

“This milestone stands as a testament to a century of academic excellence and community spirit. This glimpse into the past will help connect students to the school’s legacy,” said Dr. Hilda Maldonado, Superintendent.

The event drew the attendance of other Roosevelt alumni, parents, members of the student council, and various guests. As Roosevelt Elementary School ventures into its next century, the centennial celebration serves as a testament to its enduring commitment to education and community.

As part of this celebration, Roosevelt invites everyone to visit its centennial archives, a site designated for photos and alumni stories of their time at the school.  For access, click here.


Written by SBUnified

Press releases written by the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD). Learn more at

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