Hamilton Disston Elementary School on Friday afternoon celebrated its 100th anniversary with a ceremony in the auditorium.
The school, at 6801 Cottage St. in Tacony, welcomed Mayor Jim Kenney and Henry Disston Jr., great-great-grandson of Henry and Mary Disston, the patriarch and matriarch of the family that donated the land where “Dear Old Disston School” sits.
The school, which opened in 1923, is named in memory of Hamilton Disston (1844-96), the oldest of Henry and Mary’s five sons, a Civil War veteran, Fairmount Park commissioner and Philadelphia fire commissioner.
Today, Disston has about 700 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Kenney took a tour of the school, and there was a reception in the library with hoagies and cupcakes.
Henry Disston Jr., in his first visit to the school, presented a Disston saw to principal Michele Hutz. Disston Saw Works was legendary for developing Tacony into a family-centered community for the company’s workers.
Student council leaders – president Tatiana Dunn, vice president Jonnayah Hill and secretary Steffi Hernandez, all eighth-graders – told the crowd what it means to be a Disston Dragon.
Art teacher James Hegarty and kindergarten teacher Christina Thompson unveiled a commemorative piece of art that featured Ham Disston’s image and 800 squares signed by each student and staff member. ••