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For 66 years, Gramercy has stood as a pillar of education and community gathering here in Ogden. However, after much deliberation by the School Board, the school is scheduled to close permanently after the 2018-19 school year. News of the closure is difficult for current and former faculty members, students, and parents of Gramercy Elementary. Cindy Fedor, a former student who now has four kids that have all attended or are currently attending Gramercy, shared her feelings at the school’s recent open house.

“I had many happy years here as a child,” said Cindy, who won her first art contest in 3rd grade at the school after encouragement from one of her favorite teachers, Mrs. Berghout. “She was an amazing teacher, like, she inspired me. She was the one who helped me get my very first blue ribbon for one of my drawings.”

The experience, and the encouragement from Mrs. Berghout, inspired Cindy to continue to pursue art. “She just totally believed in me and wanted me to follow my dream of being an artist,” she said, and follow her dream she did. Cindy now paints professionally and was approached to make a painting of Gramercy after news of the closure was announced.

“The painting is the only thing that’s made it okay for me,” she said. Cindy is on the PTA board and first heard of the closure at a meeting. “I was trying to hold it together in front of the principal, Mr. Mieure, because I was just devastated.”

Her painting not only pays tribute to the school she attended as a child but to her favorite teacher as well. After Mrs. Berghout passed away, the school planted a tree in her honor, a tree that Cindy made sure to include in her painting.

The painting will be hung on display permanently at the Ogden School District in remembrance of Gramercy Elementary School and the work of countless educators who have influenced generations of Ogden children. At United Way, we are honored to have been able to partner with Gramercy in recent years and say thanks for all your collective efforts to educate and inspire these students.