Alumni share legacy of Bordewich

Debbrah, 6, looks at an old scrapbook with Donna Schellin from Bordewich-Bray Elementry School. Photo by Brian Corley

Debbrah, 6, looks at an old scrapbook with Donna Schellin from Bordewich-Bray Elementry School. Photo by Brian Corley

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Joe Pieretti, 72, thumbed through old yearbooks from the 1940s when Bordewich-Bray Elementary School was the high school in Carson City.

"I know a lot of these guys," he said. "They've passed on now. But they're good memories."

A lifetime Carson City resident, he was the first of three generations to attend the school and returned for the Legacy of Bordewich luncheon and Friday's open house.

Accompanying him was his daughter, Kris Pieretti-Barrette, who attended elementary school there. Her two children are now enrolled in the school.

"It's kind of strange but it's nice," she said. "It's comfortable."

The historical displays -- including yearbooks and old newspaper articles -- were set up to remember the school's rich history and to promote its future.

School officials are asking voters to pass a $3.75 million bond in Nov. 5's general election to build an addition to the school. The addition would replace five modular classrooms, which were destroyed over the summer after they were found to be infested with three types of toxic mold.

As alumni milled through the displays set up in the school's gymnasium, current students lined up for their lunch -- history literally bumping into the future.

The school first opened as a high school in 1937 then served as the junior high in 1962 and in the early '70s became an elementary school.

Ray and Pam Houghton returned to the place where they first met in junior high. They married in 1974, four years after high school graduation.

"It's actually kind of neat to see that this school is always being used for teaching kids at all levels," Pam Houghton said.

Former principal Kirk Kinne spoke during the luncheon, which was served by members of the Carson City Host Lion's Club.

Kinne, who retired two years ago after serving as principal of the school for 18 years, told the children of their school's namesake, Grace Bordewich.

"She was the lady who was born to teach English," he began. "She was the lady who became my best friend and the lady who became this school's best friend."

The school produced such notables as former governors Robert List and Paul Laxalt, who also served as a U.S. senator; the late Robert Laxalt, became a Pulitzer Prize winner; and Mark Amodei a state senator.

"There is only one Bordewich-Bray school," Kinne said. "It is our endeavor to make sure there is a first-class school here for the next 66 years."


Carson City Question 2 will read, "Shall the Carson City School District be authorized to issue up to $3.75 million of general obligation bonds for the purposes of mitigating the impact of toxic mold and creating safer and more efficient schools by replacing, improving, acquiring, constructing and equipping school facilities? The bonds are expected to require a property tax levy for 20 years. Due to the retirement of outstanding bonds and projected assessed value growth, passage of this question is not expected to result in an increase in the existing property tax rate levied to pay the school district's bonds."


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