A contrast of two days in June for Sullivan students:
Thursday, June 5, 1969: Charles L. Sullivan Intermediate had its first graduation ceremony, honoring 305 students in Veterans Memorial Park. The graduation also served as an official dedication of the school, located on Union Avenue. The Sullivan band played and Charles L. Sullivan himself gave an address, then presented diplomas.
Thursday, June 7, 2012: Charles L. Sullivan Middle School closed its doors for the last time as the school board voted 5-2 to mothball it due to a $6.5 million budget deficit.
Charles L. Sullivan (1919-1999) was a former superintendent of Fairfield Elementary School and later assistant superintendent of the Fairfield-Suisun School District.
Former Celtics shared memories of their times there:
Tom LaPlant: Archery in “The Park Bowl” (Veterans Memorial Park).
Michelle McNeice Cummings: I broke my leg two days before the end of my seventh-grade year during PE. I had to be carried up the hill from the Park Bowl and wait for my dad. The boys’ PE teacher, who looked like a bodybuilder, carried me up the hill.
Sharon Florez: I remember when we first moved to Fairfield in 1979 from Oakland. My mom took me with her to register my brother John. When the bell rang, all of a sudden, girls came running into the office wanting to know who my brother was and what classes he was in. They thought he was the finest thing on Earth! My mom and I laughed all the way home. My brother was shy back then. He didn’t want to go to school because girls followed him everywhere. My mom had to talk to the principal to tell the girls to stop following him.
Karen Cross Ward: I joined the drill team in eighth grade and went on to Armijo to be in the drill team there. So many good memories – even if the uniforms we made with the gold braiding scratched our underarms raw and had to be modified!
Robin Edwards: I was one of the reasons they stopped doing skating for PE (sorry folks). I fell and someone tried to use my arm as a ramp and failed. That was the second time in my life I had a broken arm – the first was the same way when I was in second grade. The nurse told me that at least one student every year broke a bone. They were considering stopping the program at that point. A year after I left, they did.
Jackie Letterman Covey: One time during band practice, I was slouching. Mrs. Ruff came behind my chair and kicked me in the butt. Thanks to Mrs. Ruff, I have great posture and never had back problems!
Holly Gregory: In my seventh-grade year, I had Mrs. Ruff for band. I remember her beating her hand rhythmically on the backs of the chairs of students who just couldn’t stay on tempo. She was a tough old bird, but a fabulous teacher. The next year, Steve Taylor came on the scene with a polar opposite teaching style. He was fun and all the kids loved him. To this day, he still remembers my name when I see him. The band program there was excellent.
Keith Hayes: A lot of people don’t know that Mrs. Ruff and a few other elementary school music teachers got the music program organized in the lower grades. The high schools would never have been as good as they became without the building program they started.
Michele Reiser: I was in the first grautition classs. See, I still can’t spell.
Tanja Duncan: I remember pretending to have problems just so I could talk to our good-looking counselor, Mr. Chadwick. Had the biggest crush on him . . . .
Wanda Yates: I remember archery in the Park Bowl, skating for PE, band with Mrs. Ruff (yikes!), and class in the portables. I attended that school as a kindergartner when it was Union Avenue School and then again as a seventh- and eighth-grader when it was Sullivan. I attended David Weir first through sixth (closed), Sullivan seventh and eighth (closed). Do you think they’re gonna close Fairfield High?
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org.