Tuesday, October 6 , 2015, 7:31 pm | Fair 70º

50-Year-Old Time Capsule Holds Memories for Former Kellogg Teachers, Students

In honor of its 50th birthday, the Goleta Valley elementary school unseals a copper container packed with mementos from its first class

Former Kellogg School teachers Leanne Thommarson and Diana Brokate stand with Kellogg PTA President Yvette Ensign, left, and the time capsule that was packed 50 years ago and reopened on Wednesday.
Former Kellogg School teachers Leanne Thommarson and Diana Brokate stand with Kellogg PTA President Yvette Ensign, left, and the time capsule that was packed 50 years ago and reopened on Wednesday.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @laraanncooper |

It was 1963, and UCSB students Leanne Thommarson and Diana Brokate had just earned their teaching certificates.

Both women took their first jobs at the newly built Kellogg School in the Goleta Valley, which was mainly Hollister Avenue passing through rural farmland of lemon groves peppered with the few housing tracts beginning to spring up.

"It really was a one-horse town," Thommarson, now 72, said with a laugh on Wednesday.

That's when Thommarson and Brokate took a moment to peer at the yearbook photos posted from the 1963-64 school year, identifying themselves among other teachers pictured with turtlenecks, sculpted hair and cat eye glasses.

"We look very 1960s," Brokate said.

The former teachers were among the crowd gathered at Kellogg School once again to peer into a copper container that held some sweet mementos from their time at the school 50 years ago.

The elementary school celebrated its 50th birthday by opening a time capsule filled by that first class, and some of the artifacts were on display for the public.

The time capsule, a copper rectangle about the size of a mailbox, contained sheets of paper signed by each student at the school at the time, as well as a copy of the Gazette Citizen, a local newspaper with mission of "covering the growing Goleta Valley." It paid homage to the recently assassinated President John F. Kennedy as well as publishing the Kellogg School menu — "weiner wagons" and sloppy joes — inside its pages.

All of the students at the school signed their names on a sheet of paper with Kellogg School letterhead.

time capsule
Students from the very first class at Kellogg School signed school letterhead and put it in the time capsule 50 years ago. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Yvette Ensign, Kellogg School's PTA president, said Wednesday that she couldn't reveal where the time capsule was unearthed — "somewhere on the school's campus" — but said it soon will be placed back in its home with treasures from this year's class.

Discussion is under way about what to include — an iPod was suggested — and the kids most likely will have a say in what they want the next generation of Kellogg Bulldogs to unearth in a half-century.

Before Wednesday, "we weren't sure what was inside," Ensign said, but the kids were eager to open the time capsule at a school-wide assembly. "They were so excited."

Having the kids partake in the school's history and letting them take in the handwritten notes from the very first Kellogg Bulldogs was special.

"We share this history together," she said.

Principal Kim Bruzzese and Goleta Union School District Superintendent William Banning made comments to the students, commending them and encouraging them to think about their own futures.

"What will happen in 50 years to you?" Banning asked the students. "In 50 years, you may see children of your own go to elementary school. ... It's a long time.

"Remember today. I hope you are able to remember this and talk to your children about what it was like to be part of a school in Goleta in 2014."

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

time capsule
Darryl Tressler, a former Kellogg student, checks out the time capsule. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

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