In the days when Elvis was rocking the music world and JFK was charming the nation, the Baby Boomers were filling the classrooms at Onteora Central School. The K-12 building (now the Middle School/High School) was welcoming more students every year than it was graduating. Some Kindergarten classes were held in outlying annexes, Woodstock housed grades K-8, and the small West Hurley School had grades K-6. In September of 1960, Bennett Elementary School opened it doors to grades 1-3 and some of the grade 4 classes, leaving the rest of grades 4, 5 and 6 at the Central School. Creative shifting of classes to and from the various annexes followed, but in September of 1963, Bennett was a full K-6 elementary school.
The new school was under the direction of Mr. Ronald P. Vanni, who accepted the position with an educational vision. For twenty-six years, Mr. Vanni guided his staff in creating an educational environment to be proud of. To date, Bennett has known six principals and a multitude of staff, each bringing their own style and strengths to further the education of our students. Thousands of people can look to Bennett for their early learning experiences as Bennett looks forward to its second half century. A ‘birthday’ of such magnitude warrants celebration! Stay tuned for developing news of a fall event. ~ Kathy Carle