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J.R. Ewan’s Last Performance

May 16, 2008 by Jenn Ackerman  
Filed under Audio Slideshow, Jenn Ackerman

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Students from Julia R. Ewan Elementary School in Lexington perform in the school’s last performance ,”99 Years — A Musical Trip through the Decades,” on Thursday, May 15, 2008. The school will be closing on May 30, 2008. Photos and production by Jenn Ackerman.

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19 Responses to “J.R. Ewan’s Last Performance”
  1. Jodi Bryant says:

    My Mother-in-Law, husband, and children attended this wonderful school, it is a shame that in the vein of “progress” we should lose the warm history these wonderful teachers and staff have provided since the school began 99 years ago.

  2. Shaunie Drake says:

    I attended there are as a child and will always remember how fun J.R. Ewan was.

  3. Doris Elliott Scholl says:

    I started school in 1936 at the old Kenwick School which was housed in the former Cavalry Club building on Sherman Ave. In 1937 when we moved to the new building on Henry Clay Blvd. it was the top of the line in school buildings especially to those of us who had spent the previous year having to go outside and walk around the porch in the cold to get to the restroom. My first grade teacher was Mrs. Forsythe, a genteel, white-haired lady with a pronounced southern accent. her daughter ,Mildred ,was my second grade teacher. “Miss Mildred” was fascinated with race horses and took us on a field trip to see one of the horse farms. I remember we were shown one of the hoses which may have been War Admiral. My father was drawing pictures of horses that year and I was forever toting his pictures to school so Miss Mildred could see them. I have wonderful memories of my six years at Kenwick; Mr. Hicks, the custodian who knew all of us by name, Mrs. Hicks the cafeteria manager who mothered us at lunch time, the annual taffy pulls in the cafeteria which cost each of us a dime (unless we paid extra for someone who didn’t have a dime), the pet shows with athletic contests and pony cart rides, the Halloween carnivals with capacity crowds, the beautiful PTA flower shows and the huge peppermint sticks and oranges given to every Kenwick School child by the granddaughter of Henry Clay who still resided at the Henry Clay Home on Richmond Road.

  4. Jim Edwards says:

    My most favorite memories of my education began at J.R.Ewan. Anyone who has ever been educated at the school will forever be touched by the love and dedication given to us by the wonderful educators with whom we were blessed. Thanks to the teachers I had in the 70’s that made a difference in my life: Mrs. Gross, Mrs. Perkins, Mrs. Wheeler, Mrs. Tandy, Mr Walko, Mrs. Ballenger, Mr. Clark, Joe Beach, Mrs. Singleton (Secretary), Principal James Hardin, and most of all Ms. Rabe (now Ms. Plumlee). God Bless each and every one of you. You are why I became a teacher myself.

  5. Lauren Renshaw says:

    I started my first day of school in 1986 at Julia R. Ewan, and I’ll never forget my mom encouraging me that day as I headed off to kindergarten. I’m really sad to see it go as it’s a beautiful historic shool building nestled in the Fairway Neighborhood where I currently live. Every time I bring a friend to the neighborhood I make sure to tell them, as we’re passing, that I had gone to school there when I was little. The neighborhood won’t be the same without it.

  6. Honican's Hooligans says:

    As a class, we would like to say that we have lots of great memories here at J.R. Ewan and that we love it here! “This is where most of us met,” Haley says with nostalgia. “I have memories that I’ll treasure,” says Diaonthoni. “We have many generations that had great times here,” states Ruth. “Even though I came in 2007, I had a wonderful time and hope that people in the future will like the school replacing J.R. Ewan,” remarks Jacob. “Our class has made it through the ups and downs this year, which has really made us become a family,” say Haley and Richard. “I don’t want to leave!” exclaims Coty. Sabrina says “I’m really going to miss all the teachers, friends, and everyone else from Jr.R. Ewan!”

    Even though this was my first year at Julia R. Ewan, I have made lifetime friends and “family”. I’ll never forget the time I’ve spent here getting to know all of my co-workers and all of the Ewan kids! ~ Mrs. Honican

  7. Marty says:

    I attended Kenwick as a first grader, and fourth grader. Unfortunately the school system even back then “mokeyed” with the system carting children all over the county …. I then attended Yates for 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and half of 7th grade. Yes the first semester of 7th grade I spend at Yates on the stage in the cafeteria. The second half of 7th at Leestown. When will the school board understand making children go in and out of these schools doesn’t help them feel a part of the school, but misplaced that extends into their later life. I LOVED being at Kenwick and knowing Miss Ewan for real. My daughter later attended Ewan and attended all grades until, again the school system made a change to go to a “middle school” type of format. However what a wonderful, sweet, neighborhood school Ewan is and Fairway sub. is proud to be a part of this history. Let’s hope the neighborhood can continue to hold onto this sweet landscape and do something vital with the building so it’s not destroyed like a lot of other buildings in this city. Let’s hope it doesn’t become an eyesore and a place for trash and trashy conduct from citizens that know no better what a wonderful building Ewan has been throughout its history.

  8. Jamey Sue says:

    My Dad was principal at J.R. Ewan when I was a child….On snow days I remember my brother and I would go to school with Dad and hang out with him for a fun filled day at “MY Dad’s school”…..What great memories we made for many years…

  9. Mioeka ,Caleb, Lauren. says:

    My two children both attended JR Ewan. This was a school that I had hoped my kids would attend when I moved from my small town of Harrison County. Low and behold that dream happened.It was a wonderful experience for my children and myself as a parent. The staff was wonderful and taught my children well. They are both in Middle School and both have been Honor Roll student since they entered Middle School. Thanks go to the staff and principal who taught my children to excell and do the best they can do . Many memories were built in the historical school on Henry Clay Boulevard and they will never be forgotten.Thanks for the wonderful years!!!!!

  10. Nick says:

    I am really sad that J R Ewan is closing. I will miss my friends and my teachers.

  11. I was so lucky to attend Kenwick Elementry for 6 wonderful years for 1951 – 1957.

    Ms Julia R. Ewen, for whom the school was renamed, was my no nonsense, but fair principal. We all tried to stay out of her office.

    I was stunned to hear of the school’s closing.

    Kenwick was a terrific place to learn. My sincere “thanks” to my beloved hometown of Lexington and to the truly outstanding Kenwick/Ewan faculty, who taught me so well and so much , including Ms Archer, Mrs. Gotherman, Ms. Ison, Mrs Stark and Mrs. Davidson, as well as the wonderful Roy Kitchen (gym teacher) and the beautiful Ms. Stevens (music teacher).

    I loved you then and love you today for everything you did for me and all of your students.

    You gave me/us a great foundation to build on, in my case at Morton Junior, Henry Clay, UK and UVa Law.

    I will be eternally grateful!!. I am sure today’s students feel the same way.


  12. ayleen estrada says:

    I am a student in julia r ewan i was in julia r ewan when i was in 1st grade i’ve been in julia r ewan for 5 years i’m in 5th grade my teacher is mrs.plumlee i have so much memories in julia r ewan my favorite teachers are: mrs.preston, mrs.taylor,mrs.plumlee,mrs.honican,mrs.kear,mrs.henderson,mrs.hans.

  13. John Lockhart says:

    I attended Julia R. Ewan from 1966-1972. I still vividly remember my first day there. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of Ewan. I’ve never forgotten my teachers especially Susan Whitlock who was one of finest teachers I had from grade school through college. She was such a postive influence to all.

    It saddens me to hear that Ewan will be closed. The last time I was in Lexington I went by the old school. What a classy old lady she is. I hope they can somehow keep the building.

    • Kevin Jump says:

      I to have to remember Ms. Whitlock my 5th grade teacher and remember Mrs. Gross my first grade teacher. and thanks to Ms. Phelps , Mrs Stidham and all I have not mentioned, Julia R Ewan will always be in my heart

  14. M D Lange says:

    Julia R. Ewan was a cousin of my mother’s, married to a cousin of my father’s. She was a very intelligent, well-educated, articulate and charming lady. As a teacher myself, I loved visiting with her when I lived in Louisville as a representative of teachers for the Kentucky Education Association. Julia was the epitome of a conscientious,sensible educator.

    Based on that impression, I feel that although she was very flattered and honored by the naming of the school, she would expect the community of Lexington to continue to move forward in the best interest of the next generations. And as far as our family tradition is concerned – we now have our daughter and son-in-law firmly entrenched as public school teachers. It’s a fine calling and one that has been in our family for at least five generations.

  15. Barb Metcalfe says:

    I was saddened to read about Kenwick/Ewan being closed. I understand progress and a new building with all the technical equipment is exciting. However, it holds so many memories for me and my sons. I attended 6 years there and all three sons did also. Some of the finest teachers were there and made an impact on me as well as the boys. Mrs Ewan and Mrs Shaw (her assistant) were quality ladies that I respected so much.

    I was in Lexington the day of the Open House and wanted so much to attend but I had a prior commitment and couldn’t..

    Goodbye dear friend!

  16. megan burton says:

    i miss this school soooooooooo bad

  17. Nicole says:

    awwww i attended j r ewan from pre-school to 5th grade. i am now in 7th grade and all of my memories are still at j r ewan. i will miss you mrs. plumlee!!!!!!!!!!!


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. [...] – Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama – making stops; the school year is winding to a close, and for J.R. Ewan, the school itself marks the end of a 99-year run. Outside there was birdwatching, stockdog trials [...]

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