Thornell Road Elementary School Marks 50th Anniversary with Time Capsule and Cornerstone Rededication

Pittsford Central School District held a special ceremony at Thornell Road Elementary School on Friday, November 5, 2021, to rededicate a 50-year-old time capsule and cornerstone in celebration of the school’s 50th anniversary.

During the ceremony, which was live streamed to classrooms, Superintendent of Schools Michael Pero, Board of Education President Amy Thomas and Thornell Road Elementary School Principal Roger DeBell spoke about the history and significance of this momentous event. Joining them were two former Thornell Road Elementary School students Daisy Davis and Peter Dohr, who were present at the 1971 cornerstone ceremony, spoke about their experiences from the 1971 ceremony and their fond memories of PCSD.

“As Pittsford Central School District celebrates 75 years since its founding, Thornell Road Elementary School is celebrating its 50th anniversary,” said Superintendent Michael Pero. “To mark this historic occasion, a time capsule that was placed within the cornerstone of this building on November 5, 1971, was retrieved earlier this week and then repacked for today’s rededication ceremony. The new time capsule holds similar artifacts from 2021, with the addition of unique items like a youth-sized facemask that reflects the historic COVID-19 pandemic.”

Among the items stored in the copper box from 1971 were local and national newspapers with stories about President Nixon, inflation and draft boards being ransacked in protest to the draft. Also enclosed were various PCSD publications from 1971, including a staff calendar, District newsletters, teachers’ salary schedule, staff by-laws, class schedules, Board of Education meeting minutes, student handbooks and more.

The new time capsule, which also holds the original items from 1971, was sealed within the cornerstone at the conclusion of the rededication ceremony.

“Uncovering this time capsule from 50 years ago offers students an exciting glimpse into the past – not just of our District, but the time period in which Thornell Road Elementary School was established – bringing history to life in a very real way,” said Board of Education President Amy Thomas. “It is interesting to note that, like 2021, 1971 was a hugely transitional time in our nation’s history when people were finding their voices to stand up for what they believed in. I hope that the pieces of history stored in that time capsule from 1971 will spur our students’ interest in history, honor the brave voices that affected change and help students to realize that their voices can serve as instruments of change for their generation and generations to come.”

To view the video of the rededication ceremony, please visit

Timecapsule in Cornerstone with Group Timecapsule in Cornerstone with Group

kids in window Timecapsule in Cornerstone with Group