First day of school in District 8: Weikel Elementary

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FORT CARSON – Students, parents and staff at Weikel Elementary School in Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 kicked off the new school year with an outdoor celebration of 10 years of excellence.

“We’re all about excellence and just providing a quality education for kids,” said Misty DeHerrera, principal. “It creates a sense of pride to be able to support our soldiers and their families.”

The school is named in honor of U.S. Army Captain Ian Weikel, a graduate of Fountain-Fort Carson High School and the United States Military Academy – West Point, who gave his life in service to our country. Weikel was killed in action from an improvised explosive device in 2006 during a second deployment in Iraq.

During speeches from the school’s original principal and a former FFCHS high school instructor who mentored Weikel, the students heard stories about the integrity, leadership, and high moral character of a man committed to always loving others and always growing through continuous learning. The students were challenged to honor the legacy of the fallen soldier by giving their best in the classroom during the year ahead.

As the school day got underway, parents of some younger students provided escorts to the classroom before giving final goodbyes while older students gave hugs to some of their instructors from previous school years.

In Ms. Fischenich’s first grade classroom students were learning where their lockers were and how to correctly line up to lead the classroom.

Fountain-Fort Carson begins the year with at least one law enforcement school resource officer at each of its learning campuses.

“It’s a commitment of ours to dedicate those kinds of resources and to show that kind of partnership and to show kids that they’re safe here when they come to school in District 8,” said Christy McGee, director of communications for the school district. “We’re one of the few school districts in the state and in the country who do that.”

McGee says the officers are military police from Fort Carson and police officers from the Fountain Police Department.

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