Joseph Williams Elementary celebrates 80th anniversary

Joseph Williams Elementary School in Gainesville celebrated its 80th anniversary on Thursday, December 13, 2018 - the 80th day of the school year.

The school was originally segregated when it opened in 1938, but it was integrated in the late 1960s.

Students and staff celebrated the school's long-lasting legacy with a vocabulary parade featuring words related to the anniversary.

“It’s always been a place full of great people, but I think as things change, you know, we have new buildings, we have new technology, we have new those kinds of things, but the thing that kind of keeps us grounded and kind of continues our legacy is the people,” said principal Anyana Stokes.

A reunion was also held in the school cafeteria for former staff to reflect on their time at the school.

“There are a lot of people who are still in this community who also went to Williams and have a great love for it, so I think that’s what makes Williams special is that we’re definitely a school that is loved in the community and we have a lot of community support," said Stokes.