Published May 22, 2014
By Devin Corbitt, News Editor
Sparta Elementary School’s property became more beautiful on Monday with the addition of a birdbath.
The natural stone bath was dedicated to the memory of two former Sparta employees, Dorothy Potts and Ann Kasberg.
“These two amazing ladies gave so much of themselves to their school,” fourth grader Cade Elkins said. “Sparta Leadership Team would like to honor them by dedicating a birdbath to them. The birdbath will be a symbol of community and life. For years to come, students will see that these two individuals were instrumental in the early years at Sparta.”
The idea was thought up by members of the Sparta Leadership Team, a group of fourth and fifth graders who display exemplary leadership skills and maintain good grades and conduct throughout the school year.
“We teach them how to work in the community and help others, lots of service projects,” Misty Norwood, Inclusion and Resource Teacher at Sparta, said. “We go out into the community as much as we can; for example, they were able to gather up towels and blankets, and we took them to a vet clinic that needed them. Little things like that add up in the end.”
This year’s Leadership Team includes Alex Ortiz, Cade Elkins, Kendall Dollar, Sarah McAllister, Grace Moyer, Ashlynn Paholek, Ethan Rodriguez, Katelyn Chrisman, Megan LaRocque, Rachael Schiller, Aimee Bowling, Jacob Masters, Madison Farwell, Kathryn Ward, Kade Norwood, Maya Jones, Luke Bramlett and Macy Martin.
Potts, who died in 2012, worked at Sparta from 1993 until she retired in 2004 as the school counselor. Many of Potts’ family members were on hand for the ceremony, including her husband, Arthur, and son, David.
“It’s wonderful,” David Potts said. “It brought a tear to my eye. Mom loved this school. We’ve never had anything done like this before. It’s an honor.”
Kasberg, who died in 1999, was the first person to greet visitors and students to Sparta as the school secretary from 1988 to 1999.
“During her time, she gave 100 percent to make sure our school ran smoothly,” fourth grader Sarah McAllister said. “She loved to decorate the school for holidays, which helped make our school a welcoming school for everyone. She was the go-to person when you had any questions.”
During the ceremony, fourth grader Kendall Dollar read a poem summing up why they Leadership Team chose these two influential women.
“Mrs. Potts and Mrs. Kasberg, I didn’t know you, but I do know you. I have never met you, but you are dear to me. Whenever I walk down the hallways of Sparta, I feel the warmth of the sun through the skylight; I feel your compassion shining down on our school to make it the special place it is. Whenever I hear the laughter of children playing at recess, I feel your joy confirming that Sparta is still a place that children can feel loved and safe. Whenever I see the caring atmosphere of Sparta, I know that started with you. You are a part of what makes Sparta unique and special, and the spirit of love is renewed in our hearts day-by-day. I thank you. I didn’t know you, but I do know you. I’ve never met you, but you are dear to me. At Sparta, we are like a tapestry: each piece is unique and special but also a recognizable whole. The love and strength that you began here is the thread that holds that tapestry together.”
That thread will now forever be remembered not only at Sparta but throughout Belton.