One Clay Community School employee reflects on the past and looks forward to the future.
"I was here on the first day the school opened," East Side Elementary Secretary Regina Paullus said. "I was in the fourth grade, at the time there were three schools that consolidated to make East Side. I had attended Pinckley Street School."
Currently East Side is going through some changes with the building renovation project, which Paullus believes will be beneficial for the whole school.
"It will be nice when the construction is finished," she said. "We will have a gym large enough to have our Christmas program in."
She has a lot of fond memories of East Side because she's spent a majority of her life there.
"I have been a student, parent, staff member and a grandparent at this school," she said.
"Up until recently, I drank out of the same water fountain, which was here when the school opened."
When East Side was first built, Paullus was living in Edgewood and to get to school everyday, she would cross United States 40.
"It was different then," she said. "Everything was residential. Now the students in Edgewood attend Forest Park Elementary, so they don't have to cross (U.S. 40)"
For Paullus, one of the joys about working at East Side is the familiarity of the families.
"I've worked for the corporation for 30 years and in this building for 25 years," she said with a laugh. "I see students who were here in 1983, and now we have their kids here."
In all that time, she has only had two principals, Denzil Adams and Mary Ray.
It is the camaraderie among the staff and the dedication of teachers and parents that brings a smile to her face everyday.
"This building has been fortunate to have an awesome staff," she said. "The parents are wonderful and the kids are fantastic."
It was a surreal experience; she ate lunch in the cafeteria on the first day the school opened and on the last day the cafeteria was open. She shared that lunch with her grandchildren.
"It was very neat and a little sad," she said. "It was the last time they got to eat in the cafeteria too."
With the cafeteria under construction, students are currently eating lunch in the gym. It is the continued adjustment of the teachers, students and parents that Paullus is impressed with.
"Everyone is adapting with the construction," she said. "The teachers haven't stopped doing what they have to do to educate the students. It has been difficult at times but everyone knows that it will be worth it in the end."
With the changes taking place, Paullus believes East Side will continue to hold it's same standard of excellence.
"We are a small school and we know the families," she said. "I have so many great memories, and all of it is because of the awesome people that made it this way."