The original Bryan elementary was a four-room brick building on the east end of the current Bryan School playground. Funding from a school bond in 1923 expanded Bryan to eight rooms. The $200,000 bond allowed for additions to the high school and Central School in addition to constructing four additional rooms at Bryan.
The student experience for Bryan has changed over time. In the 1920s and 1930s, the playground was divided into a boys' side and a girls' side. Popular games from the time included hopscotch, tag, duck-duck-goose, and stickball (a playground game similar to baseball). One student from that era remembers getting in trouble for dancing the Charleston in front of the school. The principal informed the dancing girls that "school was no place for a dance such as that."
Up until the 1960s, one of the big highlights of the school year was the Maypole dance. Students practiced throughout March and April to meet with students from throughout the school district downtown at the city park to perform in a large, all-city assembly on May 1.
Another popular event from the past was a potluck picnic on the last day of school. Each students' mother would bring a favorite food from home to share with all of the students.
The original Bryan Elementary was demolished in 1963 and replaced with what is now the west wing of Bryan. The east wing and multi-purpose room (gym, stage, and cafeteria) were added in the 1970s.
In recent years, Bryan has created some new traditions such as Turkey Trot, Dr. Seuss night, and spirit days during the last week of school.
Bryan staff and students celebrated the school's 100th year in 2005 by painting the mural on the east side of the building (with help from volunteer artist, Cheryl Mink) and inviting past principals and teachers to share their experiences at a 100th year celebration assembly.
The next big change to Bryan will be a major remodel and the addition of a new library, gym, and front office beginning in 2014. Bryan will keep growing and changing as time passes, but students of all generations have been proud to call themselves Bryan Bears.
John House (1993-2003)
Joel Palmer (2003-2012)
Kristin Gorringe (2012-present)
If you have information, stories, or pictures to add to the telling of Bryan's history, please contact the webmaster