Friendswood ISD sends #WeAreMighty flag into space aboard International Space Station

Astronaut Mike Hopkins is currently aboard the space station, along with Friendswood ISD's #WeAreMighty flag. (Courtesy Friendswood ISD)
Astronaut Mike Hopkins is currently aboard the space station, along with Friendswood ISD's #WeAreMighty flag. (Courtesy Friendswood ISD)

Astronaut Mike Hopkins is currently aboard the space station, along with Friendswood ISD's #WeAreMighty flag. (Courtesy Friendswood ISD)

Friendswood ISD kicked off 2021 by reaching new heights—specifically, more than 250 miles above the surface of the Earth on the International Space Station, where a district flag now resides.

Administrators received word Jan. 3 from astronaut Mike Hopkins aboard the space station that the FISD/Education Foundation flag was adorning the space station walls. Hopkins’ wife, Julie, is a Friendswood Junior High nurse.

Superintendent Thad Roher said in a district media release that the news was moving, and the flag’s successful journey reaffirms the importance of gathering together to be mighty in the midst of the pandemic.

“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?” Roher said in the release.

Hopkins and district leaders worked together to create the flag and to ensure that it adhered to the dimensions and weight limitations necessary for it to be sent into space. The Friendswood ISD Education Foundation was involved in the process, including through its “Together, #WeAreMighty” campaign, per the release.


“Seeing the #WeAreMighty flag in space was a powerful reminder that the strength of our community knows no boundaries,” said Ashley Adair, executive director of the Friendswood ISD Education Foundation, in the release. “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.”

The phrase "We are mighty" was coined to represent togetherness and perseverance as a community in difficult times, district leaders said in the release. The accompanying word “together” holds a special importance during the uncertainties of the 2020-21 school year, Roher said.

“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,” he said in the release. “When that flag comes back and we display it in the museum with the pictures of it on the [space station], it is the motto we want to go on beyond this time frame. We will not forget it.”

By Colleen Ferguson

Reporter, Bay Area

A native central New Yorker, Colleen worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact Newspaper before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. She covers public education, higher education, business and development news in southeast Houston. Colleen graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she worked for the university's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange. Her degrees are in journalism and Spanish language and culture. When not chasing a story, Colleen can be found petting cats and dogs, listening to podcasts, swimming or watching true crime documentaries.



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