Gullett Elementary ~ 60th Anniversary ~ 1956-2016

Celebrating 60 Years of Education and Community

Gullett Elementary celebrates 60 years in 2016, and we wanted to put a spotlight on a few of the first students at the school, as well as some of the teachers who impacted so many students over the years.

See previous anniversary spotlights here.

When Gullett was Young

By Vivian Trominski

Chris Oakland and the Author

Chris Oakland and the Author

I spoke with Chris Oakland, a former Gullett student and local. He lives in Austin and works as a real estate agent at Hindsite 20/20, right down the street from Lamar Middle School. He was born in Allandale and lived on Greenlawn and at age 2 moved to a house on Dover that backed up to the dog park by Gullett. Chris started school in 1975 and left Gullett in 1982. After Gullett he went to Burnet Middle School and then on to Anderson. There were only 2 to 3 classrooms for each grade and for a while you went to Lucy Reed for 6th grade only, but that was changed and young Mr.Oakland spent his 6th grade year at Gullett. Some of Chris’ favorite teachers were: Ms.Fell, a 2nd grade teacher who painted her toes with flowers and funky colors and Ms.Oates, who got married midyear and changed her name to Ms.Carlyle. His 4th grade teacher was also his kindergarten teacher, which he found a little strange. Chris also skipped 3rd grade. He went from 2nd to 4th, a very big leap!

Some of his memories include when Gullett first got portables by the teachers parking lot. But, back then they were only used for 6th grade orchestra and band. While at Gullett, the entire neighborhood and school community raised enough money from box tops to build a
kindergarten playscape and became one of the first schools in Austin to do so. Once he also got to ride an elephant as it circled the newly built playground. One of the teachers heard about a radio station’s contest to win an elephant for a day, and she submitted a letter explaining how every student would ride the elephant and ride they did. The Gullett Geckos used to be the Gullett Gopher, they tried for the Gazelles, but the principal said “NO!”. Chris is glad about that because “ The geckos sound much cooler than the gazelles or gophers! “

Mr.Oakland loved Gullett and still does. “It was a place I could call home.” he says. And everyone who went there knows, that is the 100% truth! He is sad he can’t see Gullett anymore when on mopac. “ I used to point out my old school when in the car with friends, but now all I see is a wall.” Chris has many great memories of Gullett and all the fun he had there. He also said, “ I hope it’s around for another 60 great years!