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Former Preschoolers Return to Lab School After Seven Decades

Former Preschoolers Return to Lab School After Seven Decades

​Seven former preschool students of Dr. Phyllis Richards met for a reunion at the Priscilla Pond Flawn Child and Family Laboratory on Friday, June 30. That might not seem so unusual, except that Dr. Richards is 97 years old and her former students are in their 70s. They've known Dr. Richards since they were two or three years old. She was a freshly minted teacher when she came to teach preschool at the lab school in 1948.

Richards and her former students toured the current facilities which date to the early 2000s, in the Seay building on the UT Austin campus at Dean Keeton and Speedway. The tour ended with a recreation of a 1948 stairwell photo taken by one of the attendee's parents as the class Christmas photo.

The reunion happened in conjunction with a series of celebrations tied to the 90th anniversary of the Priscilla Pond Flawn Child and Family Laboratory. A new endowment campaign has also recently launched to raise support for the campus "lab school," where students and researchers learn about child development as young children and their families benefit from the accredited on-site program.

Richards reflected on her time at UT: "I have some very good memories and friends that I taught in the lab school that went on to do great things. Which is what we do at UT, right? I'm very proud of all of them. If you went and asked them about their occupations, you'd be very surprised."

The reunion was covered by several local news outlets and in the Austin American-Statesman:

KXAN: 97-year-old teacher returns to UT Lab School to recreate class photo

KVUE: 70 years later, classmates reunite to recreate preschool photo from UT school lab

Austin American-Statesman: See what these preschoolers look like 70 years later

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Saturday, 29 January 2022

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