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Finding those lost treasures
Sometimes unusual things find their way into "lost-and-found" boxes at county schools.

LEE WOOLF
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Date published: 11/10/2004

By LEE WOOLF

HAS YOUR SON or daughter mis- placed a favorite item of clothing lately? How about a special piece of jewelry? Maybe a retainer? Or a trombone?

And how can they pass that test on Friday when their class notes have mysteriously disappeared?

Let me suggest checking the "lost-and-found" box at their school office. You just might be surprised what's in there.

"By the end of the year, we usually have some pretty bizarre stuff," said Leanne Pruden, an office assistant at Kate Waller Barrett Elementary School.

"If a student can lose it, sooner or later it will show up in the school office," said William Boatwright, the principal at A.G. Wright Middle School.

"Some things you can understandnotebooks, jackets, sweaters. But other things are just baffling. We've found one shoe, a pair of blue jeans and even a skirt. I mean if you wear a skirt to school in the morning, wouldn't you expect to go home wearing a skirt?"

Boatwright also said items belonging to some students show up again and again. Recently, a student did indeed leave both his trombone and backpack on the bleachers after a football game.

"He came in the next day in a panic--as you might expect," said Boatwright.

Since there are about 25,000 children in Stafford schools, if just one student in every 10 loses something during the year, that's about 2,500 items that might be recovered.

So it's not surprising that calls to a half dozen Stafford schools last week found a variety of items sitting in lost-and-found boxes waiting for their owners.

A Barbie doll, a rhinestone belt, a Walkman radio and a $5 bill were among the items at Barrett Elementary. There also were a couple of girls watches, several pairs of glasses and some leather gloves.

At Drew Middle School, there were coats, sweaters, lunchboxes, pencil cases and several notebooks. Unusual items that have turned up in the past include purses and hats.

Hampton Oaks Elementary had a cell phone, eyeglasses, a set of keys, bracelets, necklaces and a golf ball.

"We recently had a lunchbox with a retainer left in the cafeteria," said Sue Abel, an office secretary at Stafford High School. "We frequently have cell phones, wallets and keysand of course lots of clothes."


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