Is There An Edgewood Ghost?

Edgewood kids love to spook each other about the ghost that allegedly roams the halls of our 100-year-old school. Some report that they’ve gone into the bathroom and closed the door behind them, only to come out of the stall and find the bathroom door wide open. Others say they’ve seen the water fountain turn on by itself as they walk by. One third grader recently reported he saw a ghost in the bathroom mirror. Standing behind him.

Cue the screams.

Dr. Houseknecht, who has roamed the halls himself for 28 years, says there’s absolutely no such thing as a ghost in the building. Has he seen flickering lights? Spooky sounds or ghostly shadows creeping along stairwells?

“No,” he laughs, sitting in his office, which, he says, isn’t haunted either. “Kids just love to tell these stories. We’ve had kids talking about an Edgewood ghost for at least 20 years.”

He chalks it up to how old the building is, and how some of the nooks and corners in the halls can make a child’s imagination run wild. “Plus, they just love the idea of ghosts,” he says. “It’s fun to tell those stories, even if the kids believe deep down that there is no such a thing.”

At Edgewood Academy, some students are studying the Edgewood ghost, and two years ago, Edgewood News published a spooky story involving the ghost and former Edgewood student (and current fourth grade teacher) Mr. Reilly.

Still, at least one second grader has reported that some kids are so scared about the idea of the ghost that they’re refusing to go in the bathroom alone. So the myth of the Edgewood ghost lives on.

Before Edgewood Was a School

Did you know that Edgewood School is built on the site of an apple orchard? The school’s technology teacher Mr. Tomizawa documents this piece of history on his own blog, Edgewood Snapshots. Here’s what he writes:

Edgewood’s Orchard
By Paul Tomizawa

Edgewood School opened its doors 100 years ago in an apple orchard on the Cudner-Weed estate, pictured above. 

How fortunate for the teachers — an endless supply of apples! But according to Edgewood’s first principal, Mary Piedalue, the kids may have enjoyed life in an orchard the most. She once recalled that “when the apples fell into the children’s hands, they made wonderful ammunition.”

Carl Schorske, one of Edgewood’s first students, also remembered those apples. When he visited Edgewood in 2008, he told us that students gorged themselves on the Russet apples, also known as “rusty coats” for its skin texture and brownish color.

By the late 20th century, these apples were gone from the Edgewood campus. But a few years ago, we started a comeback. A team of Edgewood historians and environmentalists, made up of staff and students, gathered in front of our school and planted a tree. An apple tree.

This post first appeared on Mr. Tomizawa’s blog, Edgewood Snapshots.

Bake 400 Cupcakes for the Kids of Edgewood? No Problem

When Lillian Murtha, an Edgewood mom, was approached by the Edgewood PTA with the task of baking 400 cupcakes — 25 of them allergen-free — for the Edgewood Centennial celebration, she didn’t hesitate. “So many kids have allergies now, my own kids included,” she says. “It’s not easy buying something from the store because you either have to read every single ingredient or give bakeries the third degree! I started baking so my kids could have treats they weren’t allergic to.”

Lillian now runs her own online baking venture, Once Upon a Lil Cupcake, specializing in nut-free and gluten-free goodies. The 25 special cupcakes she made for the Centennial celebration were also free of egg, dairy and soy. She baked all 400 cupcakes in three days — with just four cupcake pans and one oven!

Here’s what 400 cupcakes looks like:

The fondant toppers with the letter “E” were made five days in advance and the most time consuming part. “I wanted them to be perfect,” Lillian says.

So would she do it all again? “It was a lot of work. I think my kitchen was covered in a fog of powdered sugar!” Lillian says. “But I had a lot of fun making them and would gladly do it all again.”

To order your own personalized cupcakes, allergen-free or otherwise, contact Lillian at Once Upon a Lil Cupcake.

Check Out Edgewood School in Miniature

Have you seen the 3D model of Edgewood School? It sits outside the library, encased in Plexiglass. The model is a miniature, true-to-scale replica of the school.

Mr. Fitz first came up with the idea to build it almost two years ago, envisioning it as a learning tool for students. The pieces of it come apart and can demonstrate the step-by-step process of Edgewood being built through the years.

For example, here’s what Edgewood looked like when it first built in 1919…

And here’s what it looks like in 2019:

What’s more, many parts of the model are being built by the students themselves, mostly fourth and fifth graders, using the school’s new 3D printer and a program called Tinkercad. Each of the windows and the cuppola were designed in Tinkercad and printed out on plastic. A very detail-oriented student recreated the United States maps that’s painted on the blacktop in the courtyard. All the trees were made by students using Model Magic. The pieces of the building itself were cut out of Styrofoam, and the roof is made of cardboard (with the shingles painstakingly drawn in by a student).

The model isn’t finished yet — nor will it ever be. Mr. Fitz envisions it forever being in a state of flux, just as the real Edgewood building is. Some goals for the near future include drawing a blueprint of the inside of the school on transparencies to fit on top, so when you lift off the roof you can see where all the classrooms are.

But in the meantime, you can admire what’s been built, right in front of the library. It’s already very impressive, and we can’t wait to see what’s to come!

Welcome to Edgewood Academy!

In celebration of the Centennial, Edgewood children were invited to take part in a very special education program: the first-ever Edgewood Academy. They learned the good news at an assembly.

Edgewood Academy pairs students with break-out courses on topics related to the Centennial, and it will meet for six Fridays after lunch. Courses include Edgewood Pop Up Museum, Treats from the Orchard, Study of the Time Capsule, Puzzle Making and more.

Children were asked to rank their top choices for courses before hand, and at the assembly, the course teachers led them to their classrooms. Many children were excited with their placements.

Mr. Riley gets kids excited for Edgewood Academy.

Off the children go to their courses at Edgewood Academy.

Roll Out of Bed and Read!

With the opening of the new library, the PTA offered a wonderful program for Edgewood families this year: Rise and Read. It’s a chance for children to come to school about thirty minutes early to spend time in the library with a parent or caregiver.

Not only did parents enjoy exploring the new library, but children snuggled right up to family and friends for a good story. Keep your eye out for more of these special mornings to come. The PTA is sponsoring multiple Rise and Reads this year. Take a look at how Edgewood families enjoyed this day below.

Surprise in the Time Capsule

When we opened the Edgewood Time Capsule, we found this WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE poster written by former Edgewood student John Mancuso. Funny enough, third grader Akash Dhiman found the poster. His father, Pradeep Dhiman, went to Edgewood and he’s still best friend with John’s brother; the brother even attended the Dhiman’s wedding.

Akasha Dhiman and Nate Bedford, both third graders, holding the joke poster.

What She Put in the Time Capsule

Jessica graduated from Edgewood in 2004, and we invited her back recently to take a look at what she put in the time capsule that year. It was easy for her to spot, and she was so excited to find her sketch.

At the top of her drawing, there’s a message: “To Edgewood’s 100th Birthday and the kids.”

What else have we found in the time capsule? More to come…

Edgewood Turns 100 years old!

On Monday, January 9th, 2019 Edgewood School officially turned 100! An Edgewood alum and parent, Greg Bartolos, shares his thoughts on our school assembly below: 

Edgewood School’s 100th Anniversary Celebration was a total success. Dr. Houseknecht emceed the event, providing history and entertainment in equal measure. And Mr. Yang’s breaking-news reports put a smile on every face in the audience.

The time capsule (hidden since 1994 when Edgewood celebrated its 75th anniversary) was the focal point for both children and adults. And its opening was a pleasure to watch. (See video for details!)

Guests of honor included Mr. Conlan – part of three generations in Edgewood. Mr. Conlan amazingly met Edgewood’s first principal, Mary Piedalue, in the early 1940s as a student.AndDorothy Bench, who composed Edgewood’s theme song in 1976, led everyone through a spirited rendition.

The personal highlight for me was having a long conversation with Cora Five, who was my fourth-grade teacher in 1977! It was genuinely wonderful to see her and to share our mutual and ongoing admiration of Edgewood and the many people who help maintain the school’s rich and proud heritage.

The turnout was fantastic and so were the food and drinks. A special thanks to PTA Co-Presidents Heedan Chung-Goh and Susie Smith for helping to ensure that everything went as planned.