Thurston Elementary School

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Thurston Elementary School
Ann Arbor, Michigan
United States
Coordinates 42°18′23″N 83°42′05″W / 42.306389°N 83.701389°W / 42.306389; -83.701389Coordinates: 42°18′23″N 83°42′05″W / 42.306389°N 83.701389°W / 42.306389; -83.701389
Type Public Elementary School
Established October, 1964
Locale Ann Arbor Public Schools
Principal Ms. Natasha York
Grades K-5
Enrollment 432 (2009-2010)[1]
Campus suburban
Mascot Blue Heron

Thurston Elementary School is a public school located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The school serves kindergarten through fifth grade students. It is located at 2300 Prairie Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48105 near the Huron Parkway and Plymouth Road intersection. It is named in honor of Lee M. Thurston, a former Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Ann Arbor and United States Commissioner of Education. Thurston graduates attend Clague Middle School, and then Huron High School.[2]


Thurston Elementary School earned an "A" on the Michigan Department of Education Report Card consistently since 2004. The school has consistently met Annual Yearly Progress (AYP).[3]

The table below shows the percent of students who met or exceeded standards on the Fall 2011 Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test:

Mathematics Reading
3rd Grade 74% 88%
4th Grade 82.4% 83.6%
5th Grade 81.3% 93.2%


Thurston Nature Center[edit]

The Thurston Nature Center is a 24-acre preserve with a 7-acre pond (Thurston Pond). It is located just north of the school and is owned by Ann Arbor Public Schools. It is run by a Thurston PTO sub-committee. The Nature Center is utilized by staff and students to help with environmental education. Students and the neighborhood also help maintain the Nature Center and enhance it through the Green School initiative.[5]

Thurston Players[edit]

Thurston Players are an Ann Arbor Community Theater Group that puts on an annual musical performance each Spring. The cast and crew are more than 100 Thurston Elementary School students, alumni, parents, and staff. Each year's performance is an original production that is written by the Thurston Community. This tradition started in 1974 by Jan and Nancy Keller. Originally, the cast included only adult performers. In 1997, students were added to the cast. Since its inception, it has become an annual fundraiser for the PTO. Part of the funds raised are used for $500 college scholarships to Thurston Player alums. Their director, Phil Zaret, has directed the play for 30 years.

Past Performances[edit]

  • 1975 - The Great Cat-B
  • 1976 - The Villain Bluett
  • 1977 - Red Smoke at Thirst Hill
  • 1978 - Angels at Bat
  • 1979 - Close Encounters of the Thurston Kind
  • 1980 - The Secret of the Desert Ship
  • 1981 - Soap: A Good Clean Show
  • 1982 - For Heaven's Sake
  • 1983 - The Wizard of Ms.
  • 1984 - A Duck's Tale
  • 1985 - Three–Ring Circuits
  • 1986 - The Bookaneers
  • 1987 - The Magic Pyramid
  • 1988 - The Turn of the Century
  • 1989 - Hogs and Logs
  • 1990 - Stone Age Rock
  • 1991 - The Jewel of the Isle
  • 1992 - Phantom of the Forest
  • 1993 - Trekkers of the Lost Art
  • 1994 - Like, Totally Camp
  • 1995 - Blue Suede Clues
  • 1996 - Smart Chocolate
  • 1997 - Thurston Hills 48105
  • 1998 - The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
  • 1999 - On Thurston Pond
  • 2000 - Every Witch Way
  • 2001 - Back to the Books
  • 2002 - A Glitch in Time
  • 2003 - Fair Game
  • 2004 - The Fellowship of Bing
  • 2005 - Kruise Kontrol
  • 2006 - The Maltese Heron
  • 2007 - Champions of the West
  • 2008 - Go for the Gold
  • 2009 - The Bride of Thurstonstein
  • 2010 - The Candy Dancer
  • 2011 - Flopped[6]

Michigan Green School[edit]

Thurston first became a Michigan Green School in the 2009 - 2010 school year. Thurston was elevated to "Emerald" status for the 2010 - 2011 school year. The "green team" is responsible for organizing many green events each year. For the 2010 - 2011 school year, projects included a Halloween Costume Exchange, Toy Exchange, Building Bat Habitats, Building Bird Habitats, Letter Writing, a Butterfly Garden, Thurston Pond Tree Tour, Energy Flair, School-Wide Composting and Recycling, Earth Day Celebration, and Adopt an Endangered Species.[7]

Flipped (film)[edit]

The 2010 Rob Reiner film "Flipped" was shot in and around Thurston Elementary School during the summer of 2009. The film utilized some of the school's classrooms, the gym, and the Thurston Nature Preserve located behind the building.[8]


  1. ^ Thurston Elementary School Annual Education Report. 2010. 
  2. ^ "Thurston 2008-2009 Parent Handbook". Thurston 2008-2009 Parent Handbook. 
  3. ^ "School Report Card History". Michigan Department of Education. 
  4. ^ "Free Press". MEAP Database. 
  5. ^ "Thurston Nature Center". Thurston Nature Center. 
  6. ^ "Thurston Community Players", Thurston Community Players
  7. ^ "Thurston Elementary - Michigan Green School", Thurston Elementary - Michigan Green School
  8. ^ Heflin, Cindy. "Rob Reiner movie 'Flipped" will do filming on Ann Arbor schools property". Rob Reiner movie 'Flipped" will do filming on Ann Arbor schools property. MLive. 

External links[edit]