Valley Stream District 30’s current and former school administrators, students, principals, and teachers celebrated the district and Clear Stream Avenue School’s 100th-year anniversary on Sept. 6. On the school’s front steps, the sixth-grade chorus, led by music teacher Stephanie Cooke, opened the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance and national anthem.
“The excellence that is provided to our students over the 100 years has been surpassed by none,” said Clear Stream Avenue Principal John Singleton. “We are so fortunate that we provide our love and our support to so many children in this community.”
Superintendent Garcia-France remarked on how much has changed over the years but still remains the same. “When we began in 1923, this wonderful array of diversity did not exist,” she said. “What did exist was the desire and drive for excellence. And so, here we stand in 2023 and we still hold true to that value of ensuring that we maintain, sustain, and innovate for excellence so that all of you who are standing before us today will be global leaders of tomorrow.”
Before Valley Stream Union Free School District 30, otherwise known as “The Friendly Schools,” was formed, students living west of Merrick Avenue had to attend either Wheeler Avenue in District 13, Brooklyn Avenue in District 24, or Elmont. Families were concerned about these schools becoming overcrowded and worried that the children from the western end of town would have to travel far to get an education. This matter was brought to the attention of Nassau County Second District Superintendent Wellington C. Mepham, who after reviewing numerous potential alternatives, declared on May 22, 1923, the formation of Common School District No. 30.
On June 19 of that year, the district superintendent, under the authority of the New York State Education Department, changed the district’s structure to a union-free school district which allowed the district to provide education on a broader and more effective basis to its students. By September of that year, its first school, a wooden structure located on Joseph Buscher’s estate, was up and running.
Former Clear Stream Principal Bob Cohen also addressed the attendees. “Clear Stream’s impact reverberates far beyond its walls; it is woven into the very fabric of the Valley Stream community.”
The celebration concluded with the students showing their love for their school by circling the building with their hands held and giving it a big hug.