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Voices from Classroom: I replay ‘The House that Built Me’ as Beechwood building gives way to new

By Amanda Klare
Beechwood Independent Schools

The groundbreaking for the new building construction at Beechwood Independent Schools is scheduled for noon on June 3.

Patrick Burns (’77) revisited his old classrooms. Here he is in Mrs. Bramel’s classroom which was his first Beechwood classroom.

Exactly 19 years prior to that date, I graduated from Beechwood High School and posed for pictures with classmates and family with the beautiful brick building serving as our backdrop.

The original brick building we all love will be taken down to prepare for an amazing new addition to the school.

I keep replaying Miranda Lambert’s “The House that Built Me” in my head as I reflect on what this building has given to me and every person who has been lucky enough to walk through those doors.

My first year as a Beechwood Tiger was in August of 1990 when my parents enrolled me for kindergarten at their alma mater. Then, I was fortunate to come back and start my teaching career in the same building in 2007. Both of my daughters were afforded the opportunity to also start their academic journey with pre-school as third-generation Beechwood Tigers in this building. This schoolhouse has truly been the cornerstone of all these pivotal “firsts” for me: my first years of school, my first years of my career, and my first years of being a school parent. I am blessed to have memories in this building as a student, an alumna, a teacher, and a parent.

Caroline Finck, a Beechwood teacher from 1972-2003, in front of one of her former classrooms with her two granddaughters who are now Beechwood Tigers.

I’ve struggled with the idea that when I drive down Beechwood Road, I’m not going to be greeted with the iconic brick structure and the copula. I’m sad that I can’t take my 4th-grade class’s picture on those front steps after this year. But then, I am reminded of the shape of the building on the inside and how this whole process is long overdue.

I look at the blueprints for what is in store for Beechwood Independent Schools, and I’m giddy with excitement for all that the new building will do for our students, our teachers, our families, and our community. The state-of-the-art plans that are in place will be worth all the construction we will endure for the next few years; the future is bright for our Ft. Mitchell community.

Just like me, I know all the alumni, parents, teachers, and students have both “first day of school” and graduation pictures with this beauty in the background. She has seen us all enter her doors as young children and helped us walk out the doors ready to take on the world at the end of our senior year. Then, she welcomed us all back with open arms when we brought our children to learn under her roof. Though she won’t concretely be there anymore in the days to come, she has helped build all of us into who we are today; therefore, she will live on in all of us since we are her legacy.

Amanda Klare

Beechwood opened its doors one last time on Monday, May 30, for all the community to take one more walk down memory lane. All the pictures from the last tours around school posted on social media by alumni and teachers pair well with Miranda Lambert’s lyrics, “If I could walk around, I swear I’ll leave. Won’t take nothing but a memory, from the house that built me.”

Amanda Klare is a Hope Street Group Kentucky State Teacher Fellow alumna and a teacher at Beechwood Elementary School (Beechwood Independent). Klare created and maintains the Northern Kentucky Tribune‘s “Voices From The Classroom” feature, which highlights local teachers and their work to improve outcomes for students. She is a recipient of the 2019 Teacher Achievement Award and was a semifinalist for the 2019 Kentucky Teacher of the Year award, a Prichard Committee Teaching Fellow, and a member of the Kentucky Department of Education Teachers Advisory Council.

Alumni from the Class of 2006 gathered one last time for a picture on the front steps.

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