Mayor Visits Challenger Elementary Commemoration Wall
September 26th, 2016
Mayor Tommy Battle, along with multicultural advisor Kenny Anderson, visited Challenger Elementary School today to see the Challenger Commemoration Wall. During the anniversary of the Challenger Disaster in January, students completed the wall as part of their education to learn about the Challenger Shuttle system. Despite the tragic events of the Challenger Disaster, the Commemoration Wall has a more positive focus on the shuttle system and the achievements of everyone involved in the program.
Mr. Battle spoke about how the Commemoration Wall at the school today reinforced the importance of that name: “we get to talk about what your school is named for [and] what traditions and lessons come with that name.”
Students enjoyed studying all ten Space Shuttle Challenger missions up to and including the disaster, but the focus was not just on the tragic end of the shuttle and crew. Dr. Michelle Wallace, principal of Challenger Elementary, remarked that “we’re not named for a disaster – we’re named for ten very significant missions that this shuttle system completed.” Students focused their studies on the hard work, dedication, and results from all the successful ventures the shuttle system enjoyed prior to the disaster.
On January 28th, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger launched its 10th and final mission. Tragically, the shuttle broke apart 73 seconds into its flight. The entire crew was lost, including Payload Specialist Christa McAuliffe, who would have been the first recorded teacher in space. Challenger Elementary School opened almost three years later in August 1989 with a name chosen to honor the hard work and sacrifice of everyone involved.