Friday marked the 100-year anniversary for Roosevelt Elementary, but for Principal Anne Mitchell, it was the end of an era.

Friday marked the 100-year anniversary for Roosevelt Elementary, but for Principal Anne Mitchell, it was the end of an era.

The 33-year employee of the Medford School District will retire at the end of the school year, and she was honored by students and faculty Friday in a special ceremony.

She wasn't expecting it.

"I had asked that we do our 100th birthday for these past two weeks because it's a special day. They did not follow my directions," she said with a smile.

Faculty presented her with several gifts, including a bound volume of portrait pictures drawn by students and two quilts, one marked with the outlines of sixth-grade student handprints.

Several sixth-graders also read letters to Mitchell expressing how much they were going to miss her.

"You will always be Queen Anne," one student read.

The ceremony concluded with sixth-graders performing "Hail to the Chief" via kazoo and a ride into the sunset on a horse.

"We're going to miss her so much," said music teacher Marcia Katzmar.

Students took to the school grounds outside following the ceremony for a variety of celebratory activities. They crowded into bounce houses, practiced their basketball skills, struggled and laughed through three-legged races and blew softball-sized bubbles.

During the festivities, students agreed Mitchell would be missed.

"I'm sad and happy at the same time," said second-grader James LaFond, 8, adding he was curious to see how the new principal would work out.

Jose Cartagena, a 12-year-old sixth-grader, said he was grateful Mitchell had kept him out of trouble during his time at the school.

"She's a great principal," he said.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or email him at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.