Lamplighter’s farm animals don’t mind being roommates. “The pig and the cow — they’re best friends, you know?” says facilities manager Dwayne Spencer. (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

Lamplighter’s farm animals don’t mind being roommates. “The pig and the cow — they’re best friends, you know?” says facilities manager Dwayne Spencer. (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

Dwayne Spencer never imagined his job would include retrieving a goat stuck on a roof or chasing an escaped pig throughout The Lamplighter School.

“It was like forever trying to catch that pig,” he says.

The facilities manager was tasked with caring for Lamplighter’s farm animals 38 years ago. He thought apprehending the four-legged escape artist was as crazy as it gets, until he saved a goat who clambered up a tree onto the barn’s roof. Spencer bribed the animal with food to get him back to the ground.

“Funny things happen. Goofy things happen,” says longtime teacher Kathey Beddow. “It’s a time to be joyous of nature and learning.”

Since Lamplighter opened in 1953, the
barn — which was rebuilt in 2016 — is the center of many student lessons. Kindergarteners learn about the voting process by casting their ballots to name the school’s chickens, pigs, calves and goats. Fourth-graders not only collect eggs to sell in the carpool line but also create business plans and marketing materials.

The yearlong project teaches the young
entrepreneurs responsibility and teamwork.

“We have to make sure we’re not doing things haphazardly,” Beddow says.

The Lamplighter School
Enrollment: 450
Year established: 1953
Tuition: $13,818-$24,825

(Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

(Photo by Danny Fulgencio)


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