“Celebrating 50 years is a milestone for us,” said Roy, who has worked at the school for a decade. “This district has great schools and teachers all around, but as a parent, I wouldn’t hesitate to put my kids in any classroom here.” The anniversary celebration is open to former Murphy Ranch staffers, parents and students. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., kicking off with 1950s games like a hula-hoop contest, jump rope and a bubble-gum blowing competition. “Everyone’s very excited about it,” said Principal Chrys Verner, who has worked at the school for six years. “We started planning this at the beginning of the year, and our theme is, `Fifty Years of Excellence, One Student At a Time.”‘ A montage of the school’s current staff and students will be on display, and families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the hilly lawn behind the office. Fifth-grade parents will also be selling hot dogs, Verner said. Beginning at 1 p.m., the Alley Cats will perform and a sock-hop dance will take place during that time, Verner said. WHITTIER – You could say that in the 50 years since Murphy Ranch Elementary School opened its doors on the east side of Whittier, not much has changed. Unlike many sprawling, modern suburban schools, the unfenced, 360-student school prides itself on its small-town atmosphere. It’s a place where everyone knows everyone else’s name, says second-grade teacher Vickie Roy. Roy liked it so much, she enrolled her three children at the school, then moved into a house a few blocks away. Now she lives minutes away from several of her students. So it seems fitting that Murphy Ranch’s 50th anniversary celebration this weekend will take on that same small-town feel, complete with a family picnic on the school’s lawn and an old-fashioned 1950s sock hop. A presentation will also be made by former teacher Beverly Bradshaw, who was on staff when the school opened 50 years ago. Her granddaughter, Casey, is now a third-grader at Murphy Ranch. “We have a very strong community connection, even though many of our students live outside the school’s boundaries,” Verner said. For more information on the event, call the school at (562)947-9557. [email protected] (562) 698-0955 Ext. 3051160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!