Two TUSD schools say their goodbyes - Tucson News Now

Two TUSD schools say their goodbyes

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Two of the 11 Tucson Unified School District schools being closed had celebrations of their long histories Wednesday.

Howenstine High Magnet School and Wakefield Middle School will be closing their doors as part of the district's effort to close a $17 million budget shortfall.

The end of the school year also marks the end of the line for nine other local schools as well.

Wakefield and Howenstine students, staff, families and the community are saying goodbye to the schools that have been a part of the Tucson community for several generations.

There is a lot of history at Wakefield.

It opened it's doors in 1939.

It was named for Maria Wakefield, said to be the first teacher to teach in Tucson public schools.

She arrived in Tucson 140 years ago.

Howenstine School has served Tucson families for 57 years.

There was singing and dancing and celebration of a long run on at Howenstine Wednesday.

It's a service learning school.

That means its students have volunteered around our community to make it better.

You can thank them for such things as murals and Habitat for Humanity homes.

Imagine, especially for students who will be seniors in the fall, seeing their school close and having to transfer to a new school won't be easy.

"It's going to be different because we're all new and it's hard to get together with new people and make friends and be involved in the school because this is our last year and we're only there for one year. So it's harder," says junior, Katrina Trejo.

Junior, Betzaida Heras, says, "We pretty much came here with these kids for three years and we won't know anybody for next year and we can't say--Oh, we graduated with our class, because we don't really know anybody. So it's a bummer."

"Everybody's involved. They're just having a good time. It's a sad school to see shut down, but--and it's probably a one-of-a-kind thing that'll never be the same for anybody else," says Nate Coppenbarger.

Students come to Howenstine from all over because it's a magnet school.

So as Howenstine closes, its students will be scattered across the valley. 

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