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
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.


Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced the opening of a COVID-19 vaccine waitlist at a Jan. 25 press conference. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook)
Harris County to open waitlist for COVID-19 vaccines Jan. 26

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo warned that vaccine supply remains "extremely limited," and it will still take time for those waitlisted to get an appointment.

(Photo courtesy Louisiana Pantry, Designed by Community Impact staff)
17 businesses that opened in Pearland, Friendswood in 2020, 4 coming soon

Here are 18 businesses that opened in Pearland and Friendswood in 2020.

Eric Williams started as superintendent Jan. 18. (Courtesy of Clear Creek ISD)
Eric Williams concludes first week as Clear Creek ISD superintendent

Williams plans to spend his first months on the job discovering how the district can sustain and build on its quality of education.

Pearland City Hall
Campaign filing period open for Pearland City Council Positions 2, 4

The candidate filing period has opened for May elections for Pearland City Council.

“Hope is on the horizon,” Fort Bend County Judge KP George said at a press conference Jan. 4. “The vaccine is here.”
Vaccine distribution starts in Fort Bend County and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular news from the past week from the Houston area.

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its 2019 data for Pearland. (Haley Morrison/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pearland minority population increases from 2014-19 and more census data

A look at 2019 U.S. census data for the city of Pearland

Pearland ISD's testing rates for the first semester of the 2020-21 school year were similar to first semester failure rates for the 2019-20 school year, according to district data. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
First semester failure rates on par with previous year's in Pearland ISD

Pearland ISD discussed failure rates at its board of trustees meeting.

One local health system leader said he expects everyone, including those under age 65, will have access to the vaccine within the next 90 days. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston-area health system leaders talk progress, hurdles during COVID-19

Officials from CHI St. Luke’s Health and UTMB Health said community members must remain vigilant as case counts climb but that they expect the current surge to peak by early February.

During a North Houston Association meeting Jan. 20, Jazz Hamilton—first vice president with the Retail Brokerage Services Group for CBRE—discussed how the future of retail will likely be shaped by the conveniences to which consumers have become accustomed amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pandemic-induced retail conveniences are here to stay, official says

According to Jazz Hamilton, first vice president with the Retail Brokerage Services group for CBRE, between January and November of 2020, consumers spent almost $550 billion online—a 33% increase from 2019.

The estimated number of active COVID-19 cases in Harris County has surpassed 50,000, reaching 51,362 as of the most recent data Jan. 20, according to the Harris County Public Health Department. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Active cases top 50,000

See the latest trends on COVID-19 in Harris County.