Arlene Bitely Elementary

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Our History

Arlene Bitely School opened in September of 1986. Our school was modern and received the recognition of architectural magazines. The school was named for a former school board member, Arlene Bitely. At the dedication ceremony in 1986, a time capsule was buried. In it, each students’ work was represented. Students made predictions: How would the world look? In what ways would the world stay the same, how would it change? And, what would they be when they grow up? How did they imagine their lives?

In 2011, we come together to both recover the old time capsule and bury a new one. In it we placed work samples from current students and their response to the same questions. We also came together as a community. Students, past and present; staff past and present and parents past and present, here to celebrate continued legacy of Arlene Bitely.


Arlene Bitely served on the Garvey School Board for about 30 years. Her focus was always on children and her votes were cast based on the benefits to Garvey students. During her 30 years with the School Board, she and her husband, Walt, were always involved in district and PTA functions. At our school they judged contests, served punch, met parents and talked to students. Mrs. Bitely was always very proud of "her" school. She passed away in the fall of 2005 following a long illness. She left a legacy of love and compassion that we strive to reflect in our approach to education.