COLORADO SPRINGS — A birthday celebration for Colorado Springs District 11 celebrating 150 years in the Pikes Peak region.

The celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. at Garry Berry Stadium with food trucks, student performances and family fun activities.

Valena Geerts, Enrollment Outreach Coordinator at Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning, said the event is such a fun way to connect with the community.

“It’s going to be such a wonderful time to spend with the community and just reconnect before we kick off this school year,” said Geerts.

Howbert Elementary School Principal, Toby Lefere, said how special D11 is to him.

“We know each other, we care about each other,” said Lefere. “We want to do well for ourselves as staff and, and ultimately do the best we can for all the students in district level.”

Lefere said how excited he is for the elementary school to be designated as an outdoor and environmental education pathway school.

“Every year I look optimistically at the future and what we can do better to serve the students,” said Lefere. “This year, I think we have some really exciting things happening in the district that we haven’t had in the past. Our school, Howbert Elementary School, is now going to be designated as the pathway school for outdoor education.”

Geerts said she is excited to promote the Academy ACL.

“We want to make sure that people know that we are here,” said Geerts. “So not only are we an all day gifted education program, we also act as a resource center for education for the Pikes Peak region.”

Several sponsors were at the event include NTA Life. Karl Panunzi, Benefit Director NTA LIfe, said how exciting it is to help the dedicated eductaors of D11.

“We’ve been working with educators for the last seven plus years as a company,” said Panunzi. “This year is very special because it brings a lot of teachers back in the classroom and to start off the year and 150 years.”

El Paso Council PTA also joined the event.

Karen Hobson, El Paso Council PTA President, said how excited she is for the upcoming school year.

“I’’m looking forward to a second year out of COVID and being back in the buildings and being able to really partner and enhance children’s learning because that’s what it’s all about is for children to succeed,” said Hobson.

For more information on D11 visit their website here.