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Military Partnerships Saluted during Special Fantastic 49

Thanks to partnerships with local military installations, D49 students with parents who serve in the armed forces have programs available made just for them. During Fantastic 49 festivities Dec. 13 before the regular monthly Board of Education meeting, Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base and Schriever Air Force Base were honored for their collaborative support of District 49.

 ROTC cadets from SCHS stand ready to present the colors before Fantastic 49 festivities Dec. 13.

“When I left the Air Force, I didn’t know if I could find a mission again … something I could put my heart into,” shared Dr. Lou Fletcher, director of culture and services. “There is no greater feeling than being here in School District 49. Over the last three years, with support of military partners, District 49 has received more than $3.5M in grants for military students.”


IGNITE, made possible by a Department of Defense Education Activity Grant, has a strong focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) curriculum for elementary and middle school students. Another grant initiative, BRIGHT, promotes the social-emotional needs of students and fosters restorative relationships.


Senior Cambria Carpenter from Vista Ridge High School kicked off the recognition ceremony with an a cappella performance of the national anthem. Sand Creek High School ROTC cadets presented the colors and introduced the special military guests. Board of Education Vice President, John Graham, was in attendance to present plaques and commemorative coins as a token of appreciation to each honoree.


Stephanie Gillotte, school liaison officer from Fort Carson, was first to be presented with a plaque for the military installation’s partnership with the district. Representatives from Peterson AFB and Schriever AFB were next on the agenda to receive accolades.


“The average military child changes schools six times from kindergarten through twelfth grade,” stated Col. Sam Johnson from Peterson AFB. “We appreciate you all welcoming families into the community.”


Col. Jacob Middleton from Schriever AFB echoed Col. Johnson’s sentiments. “Thank you for the support you provide,” commented Middleton. “It’s the best I’ve seen in 26 years in the military.”

Cambria Carpenter, VRHS senior, with John Graham, BOE VP, before Fantastic 49 celebration Dec. 13.  . A coin of appreciation is presented to Fort Carson for their partnership Dec. 13 during Fantastic 49.  . Lea Holland, BRIGHT initiative project manager, speaks during the Fantastic 49 celebration Dec. 13.

Amy Matisek
719-495-1149, ext. 2136