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The Daily Tar Heel
Town Talk

The students of Phillips Middle School celebrated the school’s fiftieth anniversary on Tuesday the only way they knew how – with 700 cupcakes.

Students packed the school’s gymnasium with staff, special guests and of course cupcakes to commemorate the event.

“Phillips has changed quite a bit in the past 50 years,” said Rebecca Campbell, a Language Arts teacher and a student when the school first opened in 1963. ,

To start the event students watched a slideshow with pictures from both this school year and years past.

A few of the teachers had been students at Phillips, and the kids cheered and laughed when they saw their teachers’ yearbook pictures on the slideshow.

They were also treated to a variety of guest speakers, including teachers, former students and the district superintendent.

The speakers recounted their favorite memories from their time at Phillips to the students.

James Barrett, a former student and a current member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, said that when he was at Phillips in the 80’s the school didn’t have any air conditioning.

He said that sometimes it got really hot, but it wasn’t always a bad thing.

“The folks at Culbreth were always jealous of us because on a day like today when it’s hot, we got to go home,” Barrett said.

While some speakers took a comical approach, superintendent Tom Forcella took a reflective tone is his address to the students.

“If these walls could talk what would they say,” Forcella said. “I think they would tell us about the lessons that have been taught here.”

The students ended the gathering with a loud rendition of “Happy Birthday” and left to enjoy their cupcakes.

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