Flying High

Louise Elementary third grader Croix Cortez tests out the new swing set during an outdoor school meeting on Nov. 20. District leaders finally unveiled the new playground equipment after the project was delayed due to funding.

A new swing set was installed on the Louise ISD playground last week, thanks, in part, to the initiative of a young elementary student.

After the old LISD swing set was torn down a few years ago, third grader Croix Cortez patiently waited for new equipment to swing on. To ensure a replacement was not delayed, Cortez took his queries to the top of the school system: Superintendent Garth Oliver.

The project had been on Oliver’s to-do list, but kept being pushed back due to other district priorities.

Oliver asked Cortez to remind him about the swings, and Cortez followed through. Every couple of weeks, he would mention the project to Oliver so that the swings wouldn’t be forgotten during Oliver’s busy days.

“He kept asking me, but not in a pushy or impatient way,” Oliver said. “It was really, to me, so impressive how he took the initiative. He would just come by every so often and remind me about the swings.”

“If it hadn’t been for this little boy, I may have forgotten about the swings,” he added.

The swing set was installed on Nov. 19, and the district held a small ceremony to mark the occasion on the next morning. Speaking to elementary teachers and students, Oliver praised Cortez’ initiative, granting him the honor of being the first student to swing on the new equipment.

“I’m excited that I finally get (to play) on the swings,” Cortez said. “If it weren’t for my sister, she’s the one who taught me how to swing.”

LISD Board President Mark Bain contributed to the swing project, ripping out the old, broken swing set in his free time. Grants and donations went toward purchasing the new swing set, which will be used by elementary and junior high students.

“I just can’t get enough of it, and I really want to thank Dr. Oliver and Mr. Bain and everybody that helped build the swings,” Cortez said.

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