Librarian Heather Meaux laughs as Gus The Gator reads a student’s handmade birthday card during Greenfield Elementary School 50th anniversary celebration. (David Minton/GSN Staff Photographer)

It was a joyous day for the Greenfield Elementary community in Gilbert as the Gators celebrated the school’s 50th anniversary recently.

The campus at 2550 East Elliot Road hosted a festive event with guests that included former Principal Robert Rimer, who served at the school from its opening in 1972 to 2008. A cake, band, food trucks, face painting and other family-friendly activities helped make it a memorable party.

At the forefront of Gilbert Public School’s evolution, Greenfield was the district’s second elementary school and built to accommodate the town’s early growth.

“The school’s original location was surrounded by cotton fields and students could watch the crop-dusting planes nearby,” district spokeswoman Kailey Latham said.

The school has had only four principals and Latham said today it is still considered by the state Department of Education to be a high-performing school.

It serves 941 PreK-6 students and their families through what Latham called “excellent academics and a wide range of extracurricular activities.”

A feeder school for Greenfield Junior High, which is right across the road, Greenfield Elementary is now accepting applications for the coming school year.