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Enota celebrates 60 years of educating Gainesville kids
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Lee said she’s involved with the school “in a number of ways.” Her sister Katie Dubnik, her husband, Morgan Lee, and her father, Jim Mathis, are all Enota alumni. Her daughter Caroline is now in first grade at the school.

“We’re on our third generation at Enota,” she said.

Mathis was part of the first class at Enota, and was in the first grade when the school opened in 1954.

Lee said the school has changed in many ways since her father started there, including the number of grades at the school. At the time, it housed first through eighth grades.

“The footprint of the school has grown since when my dad was there,” Lee said. “It’s certainly grown since I was there in the number of students there and the number of activities there are.”

The school has often acted as a mirror for the community, Lee said.

“When dad went there, the face of Gainesville was very different,” she said. “Enota wasn’t integrated when dad went to school. So it looked different from when he was there to even when I was there, because we had very diverse students. Now, it really reflects the face of the community.”

Though the school has grown, Lee said she thinks less has changed about it in 60 years than most would expect. She said the culture of the school has remained the same and it feels like a small-town school every time she goes there.

“We walk into the school and my husband and I feel the same was as my dad does when he goes in,” she said. “It feels like home.”

Lee said she believes the school has a focus on education and tending to an individual student’s every need. She remembers her teachers’ creativity and ability to make learning enjoyable.

These were many of the reasons she and her husband chose to send Caroline to Enota.

“You can choose now where your child goes, which is very different, and we’re districted for Centennial, actually,” Lee said. “But when we walked in, it felt like home still. And it doesn’t hurt that we graduated high school with the assistant principal, Jennifer Westbrook, who also went to Enota.

“It really does still feel like a small town.”

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