In the fall of 1976, Leander ISD opened its second elementary school and named it after a long-time teacher and supporter of the district – Ada Mae Faubion. Forty years later, Faubion Elementary School kicked off the 2016-17 school year with a special anniversary celebration. To the students, staff and community of Faubion ES, the event was more than a milestone commemoration, but an opportunity to celebrate a culture in which they take pride. To them, Faubion ES is more than a school – it’s a home.
Cultivating that feeling is an active process for the Faubion ES staff members. Kristin Wilson, the school counselor, said part of creating that culture included adopting a slogan designed around the Positive Behavior Philosophy. Adopted as a way to communicate how to be successful in school, students are taught to “REACH for excellence.”
“We broke it down to what we thought was the most important – reaching for excellence: being Responsible, showing Effort, having a positive Attitude, having Commitment to your learning, and being Helpful,” Wilson said.
The slogan was designed to sustain itself over the time, and Wilson said it has done just that. Now in her 14th year as the counselor at Faubion ES, Kristen said the familiarity of that unification is one of the things that make Faubion feel like a home to her. Though things inevitably change – be it staff members as the school or a growing district – there is an undercurrent that has stayed the same.
“We value that we’ve been here for a long time,” Wilson said. “We value some of the traditions, as well as some of the new things.”
One of the traditions at Faubion ES is camaraderie among staff members. Cathy Johnson, first grade teacher, said she witnessed that feeling firsthand when she unexpectedly learned last year that she would need to have an emergency surgery.
“I went to the doctor on Thursday, and on Friday, I had to have open heart surgery,” Johnson, who is in her 10th year of teaching at Faubion ES, said. “At a moment’s notice, my teammates, and really the school, stepped in and took over for me. It was just a big relief to know that they were my support system.”
Recently, a school project revealed that the feeling among the staff members at Faubion ES is shared among the students as well.
“We sent home hearts, pink hearts, and the students and families were allowed to write what they love about Faubion,” Wilson reflected. “And one of the students came back with their heart, and it read, ‘I Love Faubion, because Faubion is my home.’”
Above all, Wilson said, their goal is to serve their students.
“We want Faubion to feel like it’s home for the children who are here,” she said. “From the moment people come in, we want them to feel like they want to be here.”