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Hiawatha Elementary School

Hiawatha History

With the increase in families moving into the area between 1955 and the early sixties, the Sachem School District found that there was a need for an additional elementary school. In 1963 Hiawatha Elementary School was built and although the building was standing, the first class of students did not attend until September of 1964.

Mr. Donald Fenner was appointed the first principal of Hiawatha and served until 1969. His successor, Mr. Opinante served Hiawatha as principal from 1969-1985. Mr. Opinante was principal throughout many of the changes that occurred in the school. One of his biggest challenges as principal was dealing with the increase in the number of students. In 1969 Hiawatha was on split sessions, half of the students attended school in the morning while the other half attended in the afternoon. There were 1400 students in a building designed for 700.

Since 1975, there have been three additions to the school, as well as an updated kindergarten wing and expanded library. Throughout the years and many changes, the Hiawatha community demonstrates the commitment to put students first which provides a strong foundation for whatever the future may hold.


History researched by
Hiawatha student Gina
Class of 2008