Rylie Bunting Bell

Ryling Bunting rings the vintage school bell.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things in the lives of students. But one thing fifth grade teachers at Pinewood Elementary School weren’t going to allow to change was tradition. It’s been a long-standing practice on the last day of school at Pinewood Elementary to have fifth graders ring a vintage school bell that once hung in an old school house in the Hasty area and Silver Creek Township. Before getting on the school bus on that last day of school, small groups of fifth graders would ring the bell to signify the coming of age as they transition from elementary school to middle school. This year, because of the distance learning protocols brought on by COVID-19, a send-off with a bell ringing wasn’t going to be possible. But that didn’t stop fifth grade teachers Annie Deible, Liz Dircks, Val Hardy, Kelsey Johnson, Barb Tindle and Shannon Welle from being creative and coming up with a way to give fifth graders their traditional bell-ringing. On Wednesday, May 6, a day students were allowed to return to school to clear out their lockers, the bell was wheeled out to the front of the school. Parents drove fifth graders to the bell, where the students then put on protective disposal gloves, and gave the bell a good, hearty ringing. Above, Rylie Bunting puts his all into ringing the vintage school bell.



Jeff Hage is the managing editor of the Monticello Times. He majored in journalism at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

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