For the past 12 years, Wyoming kindergarten teacher Diane Dummer (pronounced “doomer”) has invited her 2000-2001 kindergarten class to a party, so they could all be together again.
Bowling, pizza, a picnic at her home — she planned something every year.
This year, more than half of the original kindergarten class surprised Dummer by showing up at Wyoming Elementary with flowers and a card.
Some of them even brought their moms.
It all began when the small kindergarten class, just 16 students, had 10 moms volunteer to be classroom helpers.
The families got to know each other and kept in touch over the years.
“I loved their class,” Dummer said. “They hit a chord with me. I’ve seen them every year.”
When they came to Wyoming Elementary on Wednesday, May 1, she had her current kindergarten class of 25 students pass a stuffed Mickey Mouse, the students introducing themselves while holding the toy.
That rang a bell with the seniors, who also remembered Climbing Snoopy Mountain, Big Buddies, recess, the rice “sand box” and potting plants.
Dummer said that class was her smallest in 31 years of teaching.
She taught for seven years at a Department of Defense school in Erlangen, Germany, then stayed home with her own kids for 10 years.
She has been at Wyoming Elementary for 21 years, and this year is working part time in the every-other-day kindergarten program.
Next year, when the school district moves to all-day, every-day kindergarten, she will share a class with a co-teacher. She’s interviewing candidates now.
Two teachers with a like style can be a good combination for both the students and the teachers, she said.
Dummer is planning to march with the teacher procession at graduation to honor her graduating seniors.