Comal ISD hosted a dedication ceremony on Aug. 15 for Farias-Spitzer Elementary, which will welcome students from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade in the upcoming 2023-24 school year.

The backstory

Farias-Spitzer Elementary was built on the foundations of the legacy left behind by former CISD students Marine Sgt. Thomas Spitzer and Marine Lance Cpl. John Farias, who were killed in action in Afghanistan.

“It's incredible to think that 15 months ago, there was nothing here but this open field, and now we're standing inside a beautiful 96,000 square foot facility that honors [Marine Sgt. Thomas Spitzer and Marine Lance Cpl. John Farias],” Tim Hennessee, CISD Board of Trustees Vice President said.

The 96,000-square-foot campus features outdoor courtyards, play areas, indoor gyms and large classrooms for students among other amenities.

“It is an absolute honor and privilege to have this opportunity to open a beautiful new campus in Comal ISD,” Janelle Hardin, Principal of Farias-Spitzer Elementary said. ”This was a district that I attended as a child and I couldn't get back here quick enough to be an educator and an administrator.”

Texas Senator Donna Campbell presented a certificate signed by Governor Greg Abbott to recognize the opening of Farias-Spitzer Elementary.

“So many veterans are here tonight with us to celebrate Marine Lance Cpl. John Farias and Marine Sgt. Thomas Spitzer,” Campbell said. “Their legacy of honor will follow them throughout all of our lifetimes. It follows their family, their friends and their community. And by naming this school after them, children will walk through the halls with their names on the outside and ask about them, and find out that they gave their all for the freedom that our children will get.”

A closer look

Community members, local officials, engineers involved in the construction, incoming students and staff were among those in attendance at the dedication ceremony alongside the family, friends, veterans and marines who served with Marine Sgt. Spitzer and Marine Lance Cpl. Farias.

“I cannot thank you enough for showing your respect, your pride, and your trust in us as we start to educate almost 700 souls that are going to walk into our building next week,” CISD Superintendent Dr. John Chapman III said. “So it's just a great honor that these two individuals their namesake is going to continue on. And we're going to continue to change the Generation One child at a time, starting with this school here today.”

The construction of the two $35 million elementary campuses was passed by voters in the 2021 bond election. Farias-Spitzer Elementary School, located at 1475 State Hwy 46 S., in New Braunfels, will provide relief for Clear Springs and Freiheit Elementary. Aug. 21 is the first day of classes at the new campus.