STEM Lab Brings Registration to New Schools

The mobile STEM lab registered students at two new schools
By: Todd Martin

In an effort to spur on registration for a pair of new Killeen elementary schools not yet open, the district deployed its mobile STEM lab with its on-board technology and connectivity.
On Wednesday, the eye-catching vehicle parked on an undeveloped street within easy view of the new Pat Carney Elementary School, still under construction at Estancia West on the west side of Clear Creek Road.
Numerous family members parked on the street and a few walked from nearby houses to visit the mobile lab and to register children for school.
On Thursday, the mobile STEM lab pulled up to the new Killeen Elementary School on Rancier Avenue to provide registration for families in that attendance zone.
Both schools are scheduled to open in August with the new school year.
For two hours each day after school, parents visited the vehicles to register for the approaching 2021-2022 school year. A team of campus staff members worked with technology staff on the registration effort.
The “Registration on Wheels” events also gave families a chance to meet Carney Principal Paige Gawryszewski and Killeen Elementary Principal Tammy Thornhill and other staff members.
“What’s exciting to me is it’s a new start,” said Gawryszewski as she met families in the developing neighborhood.
“It’s nice to think about bringing everyone together to work on our mission and vision, which is all about kids.”
Thornhill is finishing her second year as principal at West Ward Elementary School, now in its final month of operation before moving to the new Killeen Elementary School, along with students in the attendance zone that served East Ward Elementary School.
“It’s super exciting,” said the principal, now wrapping up at one school while preparing to open the new consolidated campus on Rancier Avenue.
“It’s so exciting to begin meeting current Maude Moore Wood students who get to come home,” she said. Since East Ward closed, students have attended Maude Moore Wood Elementary School in south Killeen.
“I’ve never met some of these students. Some are just moving in,” said Thornhill. “It’s exciting.”
The West Ward leadership team has already worked in the new building, routing incoming supplies to particular classrooms. “It’s been like practicing for the big game,” the principal said of the planning and moving. “Now, we’re starting to play the game a little.”
Earlier this week, Killeen ISD revealed new mascots for the elementary schools set to open in August.
Killeen Elementary School, which feeds into Killeen High School, will sport the familiar maroon, gray and white. Their mascot is the Joeys, the name of a baby kangaroo.
Pat Carney Elementary School’s branding includes orange and blue colors and the Cubs mascot.
Registration in KISD is ongoing with a deadline of May 14. School starts Aug. 16.
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