Dulles Elementary School in La Mirada is calling on alumni to help celebrate its 55th year of educating students. Former students and staff are asked to provide memorabilia and testimonials to share at a June 5 community barbecue that will be marked by student performances celebrating the five decades since Dulles opened its doors in 1960.

Generations of families have passed through the school and Principal Robin Padget sees the celebration as an opportunity for them to share their history with the community.

“We would love for Dulles alumni to lend us their photos, yearbooks, T-shirts or other keepsakes from their years here to display at our anniversary celebration, and we extend an invitation for them to share their special memories,” Padget said.

Padget plans to send official invitations at the end of April to District officials, school board members, La Mirada City Council members and other VIPs, and hopes the word of the open invitation to Dulles alumni will spread throughout the community.

Entertainment will be provided by the students, as each grade of students will perform songs or dances to represent each decade from 1960 to 2000.

Interim Superintendent Ginger Shattuck said the occasion is also a great opportunity to highlight the impressive strides Dulles has made in improving academic achievement.

“Last year, Dulles was among 7 percent of the nearly 5,800 public elementary schools in the state to receive the coveted California Distinguished Schools Award,” she said.

This distinction is awarded to exemplary schools that demonstrate significant gains in narrowing the academic achievement gap between student groups.

Some key changes have taken place over the years as Dulles transitioned from a K-8 school to a TK-5 school, bringing with it a change in mascot — from warrior to dolphin, felt to be a more appropriate theme for the younger students. Alumni may also notice playground equipment has been added and upgraded.

Board of Education President Jesse Urquidi said he is looking forward to the celebration.

“The world certainly is a different place today than it was when this school first opened its doors. A big difference is the integration of technology into the classroom with tools to access information at the touch of a key — unimaginable 55 years ago,” he said.

One feature has stood the test of time: The garden in the center of the school planted by students at the beginning of each year appears to be a tradition with enduring roots.

Dulles alumni who wish to share their memorabilia and testimonials with the principal can contact her at (562) 943-6734 or rpadget@nlmusd.k12.ca.us. The community barbecue will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. June 5 at Dulles Elementary, 12726 Meadow Green Road, La Mirada.