Musician Paul Brandt famously sang the words, “Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” The lyrics symbolize breaking barriers and reaching goals that might have one felt unattainable. On Sunday, Jan. 3, Friendswood ISD broke barriers – specifically, the sound barrier – as administrators received word that a piece of the District had made it to space.
Astronaut Mike Hopkins sent a photo from space with the FISD/Education Foundation flag hanging from the walls of the International Space Station (ISS).
“It was very special to get the emails with the flags being flown on the ISS. It was moving,” FISD Superintendent Thad Roher said. “We have asserted the importance of the idea of gathering together to be mighty in the midst of this crisis no matter what happens.”
The idea came about when Roher approached Hopkins’ wife Julie, who serves as a nurse at Friendswood Junior High, about getting a piece of FISD into space.
“I was aware that Mike was going to be going to the space station and approached [Julie] about the possibility of taking something of significance for FISD up with him to help connect our community to this amazing feat of going into space,” Roher said. “We believe our 14 square miles is a special place that produces special graduates that will do amazing things -- what better way than to be part of this flight?”
“Given the circumstances of COVID and all the things we could not do, this was something very special that we could and should do,” Roher said. “We talked with Mike and got the dimensions and weight of what could be taken and after we talked about it as a team, we ended up on the idea of a flag. I shared the idea with several creative individuals at administration and they worked together to design the flag.”
One of those individuals who was a part of the design was FISD Education Foundation Executive Director Ashley Adair who helped start the Together, #WeAreMighty campaign in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The phrase was coined to represent togetherness and perseverance as a community in difficult times.
“Seeing the #WeAreMighty flag in space was a powerful reminder that the strength of our community knows no boundaries,” Adair said. “As the Spring semester begins, this show of support reminds our teachers and administrators that they have an entire community rallying behind and even flying high above them.”
“To keep those words [Together, #WeAreMighty] in front of us is important,” Roher said. “It is time to highlight words and themes that use the word ‘together.’ It is not just a word; it is a way of life that we aspire to uphold in Friendswood. It is what we want for our children. When that flag comes back and we display it in the museum with the pictures of it on the ISS, it is the motto we want to go on beyond this time frame. We will not forget it.”
- We Are Mighty