The year 1983 will be remembered as the first time Michael Jackson did the MoonWalk and the long-awaited arrival of what would surely be the last Star Wars movie.

It was a time when He-Man ruled the Saturday morning cartoon line-up and A-Team, David Hasselhoff and his AI car KITT, as well as Magnum P.I. offered the latest rendition of TV crime fighting.

And it was the year the state-of-the-art Glenbow School opened its doors.

All week long, the school has been celebrating its 40th birthday. Yesterday, it was a nostalgic 80s assembly, complete with a flashback to the 80s and a performance of the Glenbow School Song.

In 1995, the school sought its very own song and held a contest. The winning entry was penned by grade 5 student Courtney and her mom Jackie Mignault.

Called the Glenbow School Song, it's sung to the tune of The Flintstones theme song

Glenbow, here at Glenbow

Kids and teachers are a family

We have fun while learning

Math and music and our history.

Glenbow students always do their best,

We know, we are up to any test.

Glenbow, yeah at Glenbow

It's a happy, safe, and good school

We're proud of this school

Glenbow's a great old school.

For yesterday's assembly, Courtney prepared a special video to wish the school a happy birthday. To wrap up the video, she panned the camera toward her very own Grade 1 class.

"I loved Glenbow so much, I'm a grade 1 teacher, too."

Kenzie Hamilton is a first-year, second-generation Glenbow teacher. Her mother Melanie also taught there, and Kenzie is excited to have joined the staff of the school she attended in her youth.

"I loved it," says Kenzie. "I loved growing up here and I loved coming back as an older student and as a teenager. My mom worked here, so I got to come back all the time and see the staff. It was pretty incredible growing up in Glenbow and going to the next level."

If she gets a choice, Kenzie would prefer to spend her entire teaching career at Glenbow.

glenbow songKaren Edwards, one of the school's original teachers, centre, joins the staff in singing The Glenbow School Song at the May 24 assembly.

Karen Edwards happened to be subbing at the school when Cochrane Now visited. She was a member of the original staff, at one time lived in Glenbow, taught there until retirement, and continues to sub. 

She remembers Kenzie from grade 2 and there are plenty of other familiar faces.

"It's been fun for me because I've taught many of the kids' parents as well, so it's fun to see that a lot of the parents stayed in Cochrane and brought their kids to their old school."

The school opened in January 1983 to quite a fanfare in the growing community of Glenbow, the newest neighbourhood in Cochrane at the time.

"This school was solar-efficient, and it was one of the most advanced schools in Alberta. We had tours coming in all the time from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and B.C., even some came from the States.  Now, we're an older school, and after a few years the solar energy stopped working, but it was really an exciting time."

Back then there were no buses bringing students to the school because there weren't any subdivisions across the highway yet.

"It was mostly just Glenbow, so everybody went home at lunch. It was lovely. We had 70-minute lunches. It was nice for the students to be able to go home and have a bit of a break and teachers had some downtime, and then we'd gear up for the afternoon. It made our day a bit longer, but it was very well balanced."

She originally taught grade 2 but over the years also taught grades 1 and 3.

What made teaching at Glenbow special was the connection created with the community.

"I think that we got to know the kids and the parents, because I lived in Glenbow as well, so it was such a small community. We would have dances for the kids and parents, and we'd have picnics. We just really got to know the kids. 

"Parents were around. Often one parent would be working, one would stay at home, so it was just a gentler time."

Karen still resides in Cochrane but has since moved to Riverview.

Lori Teece and her husband moved to Cochrane when they got married in 1990 and she joined the Glenbow staff to teach its first grade 6 class (which was later moved to the Mitford school when it was built). She taught her entire career there and continues to sub.

"I've been very, very fortunate, and the funny thing is a girlfriend of mine from Regina told me when we were getting married, oh, you have to teach in Cochrane. It's such a wonderful place."

"It's just an incredible school. There's a lot of close connections."

Among her cherished memories is having all three of their children attend the school at the same time.

"That was probably my best year ever when one was in kindergarten, one in grade 2, and one was in grade 4. That was very special."

Christy and BevBev Ireton, Glenbow's head building operator for 23 years, and 2-year teacher Kristy Cote hold the original artist rendering of the school. A mini-museum and archives were painstakingly assembled by librarian Amie Gaudet, who attended Glenbow in grade 6.

Kristy Cote has been teaching at Glenbow for about 20 years and says the staff has a strong bond.

"Just the way everybody works together and plays together and comes to school together. We are a very social staff and always have been at Glenbow, so we enjoy doing things together outside of school, which pulls all the community in."

School librarian Amie Gaudet attended grade 6 at Glenbow. She reconnected with the school when her children began attending classes there in 2009.

"I started volunteering, and I just really found my passion. I love working with the kids and I love working in the library because I get to see all the kids."

It was Amie and Kenzie who lead the afternoon assembly to have a little fun with the kids showing off the school's history, and flashing back to the 80s.

amie and lori
Among other things, Amie brought along a cabbage patch doll, popular in the day, and one of her school reports she prepared while being taught by Lori. 

Today,  students encircled the school holding hands and sang Happy Birthday. Cupcakes were served afterward.


Tomorrow, they'll be served boiled hot dogs with a bag of chips, a somewhat typical treat for kids in the 80s.

There's also another big donation being made Friday for a new playground. They are hoping to raise between $300,000 and $500,000.

GlenbowA photo from the school's archives from when it was being constructed in the spanking new community of Glenbow. (Photo/Glenbow School)