El Rodeo Elementary School Rolls Out the Red Carpet

The Beverly Hills Education Foundation (BHEF) hosted a red-carpet event on May 15 in honor of El Rodeo Elementary School’s grand reopening. The event, which took place at the school’s brand-new auditorium, sought to encourage potential donors to sponsor a seat in the auditorium and provided donors with exclusive tours of the campus. Three-times Mayor Lili Bosse also received a lifetime achievement award. 

“Our community did support the schools when they supported bond measures to modernize our facilities,” said BHEF President Tina Wiener. “So, I think this event also gives us a chance to say thank you to the community and welcome them back home.”

Attendees were wowed by EMCirque, whose performance showcased feats that students may one day aspire to.

They juggled, balanced on one hand, danced and one performer even shot a bow and arrow with her feet. Between performances and speeches, a light show, utilizing the auditorium’s state-of-the-art equipment, captivated guests. Once donors were inspired to support the school’s diverse programs by purchasing a seat in the auditorium, BHEF began auctioning off the stage and the auditorium itself to be named in the winning bidder’s honor. By the end of the night, BHEF had raised over $175,000.

At the event, BHEF unveiled the naming of the auditorium stage, which will now be known as The Amanda Erin Goldberg Stage. This was made possible by a $50,000 donation from her mother, Wendy Goldberg. 

Bosse purchased five seats at the event which will have her name on them and, in 2006, she and her husband made a large donation to BHEF, officially making El Rodeo’s library the Bosse Family Library. During her three terms as mayor, she brought the city together in her mission.

“You’ll remember the difference that we can make. We can make such a difference together and it is so important,” she said, addressing the audience. “So, I want to thank you for believing in me, but again, nothing that I have ever done has ever been me. It’s been every single person right here.”

After the main event, those who purchased seats were led on exclusive tours of the school.

El Rodeo Elementary School will host its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug 11. Originally a kindergarten through eighth grade campus, the school closed in 2019 to transition into an elementary school. 

“We’ve really worked the last five years to create a really robust elementary experience,” Sarah Kaber, the school’s new principal, told the Courier. “We want to make sure that our students, who have pathways from middle school to high school like engineering or art or music, that they have required exposure in elementary school.”

This kind of exposure would mean introducing all students to pre-engineering and design thinking through a class called “maker space,” and introducing music theory, singing and basic instruments through “vocal general music.” By immersing every student in these classes starting in kindergarten, Kaber hopes that students can discover a passion they would like to continue to study at later schools.

In addition to new programs, Kaber was eager to showcase the new construction, which pays tribute in many ways to the school’s original history as well as elevating the students’ experience by modernizing certain aspects. “There’s definitely something about being in an old building where it doesn’t work a hundred percent to move to a building that’s been historically retrofitted,” she said. The school still makes use of the 110-year-old building while incorporating modern details that will make classroom learning more efficient.

During a tour of the campus, Kaber excitedly revealed an original fireplace and hearth in one of the rooms that was previously hidden behind a wall. It was one of many pieces of the building’s nearly 100-year-old-history that they were able to salvage. In one of the main hallways, Kaber also pointed out a mural that symbolizes one of the city’s first efforts to come together for Beverly Hills schools. Originally started by Hugo Ballin but unfinished after the Public Works of Art Project was terminated, the mural was completed in 1934 with the help of Robert Woolsley, Charles Jorgenson and Don Smith.

BHEF continues to urge the community for support as El Rodeo awaits its grand reopening. “It will be really special for families to go back and continue to see their names in the auditorium,” said Wiener. Families can still purchase a seat at one of the BHUSD auditoriums at naming.bhef.org. 

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