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Elizabeth Lopez Hatley Elementary School Dedicated

Students with bucketsThe Love family was all smiles as their fifth-grader, Haven, stood on stage and performed. 

They only recently moved back to Texas, and were very selective about where they bought a home; selective about where their children, Haven and first-grader Eden, would go to school. 

Now, their daughter was on stage performing at the dedication ceremony for the newest school in Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD, Elizabeth Lopez Hatley Elementary School. 

“We're excited,” said Zach Love, Haven and Eden’s dad. “We're a new family to EMS ISD. We just moved back and feel so welcomed. We picked this school and are excited to be here.” 

Also all smiles was Elizabeth Lopez Hatley. The longtime EMS ISD teacher, administrator and board member, and the namesake of the school. She walked into the new cafeteria to see it packed full of family, friends, supporters, community members, teachers, parents and students. Mr. and Mrs. Hatley

“I'm overwhelmed and I find it very humbling to have this school named in my honor,” Hatley said. “My passion has always been education. I'm thrilled to know this elementary campus will educate an immeasurable number of students for years to come.” 

The ceremony began with a student choir performance and a student bucket drum performance. Speeches were then given by EMS ISD Board President Paige Ring, EMS ISD Superintendent Dr. Jim F. Chadwell, and Hatley herself.

“The heart and soul of Hatley Elementary School, Elizabeth Lopez Hatley, has been a heartbeat in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD community long before the first shovel of dirt turned for this building,” Chadwell said. “It could not be more fitting that this school is named after her, because from our littlest learners launching their educational careers in pre-k and kindergarten, to the fifth-graders gearing up for the wonders of middle school, Hatley Elementary will be key in helping to shape the leaders of tomorrow, just like Liz Hatley did in our school district for decades.”

Ribbon CuttingFollowing the ceremony, an official ribbon cutting took place in front of the school with the EMS ISD Board of Trustees, campus and district administrators, and Hatley Elementary  School students. 

"We are honored here every day to say that we work at Elizabeth Lopez Hatley Elementary School. To be able to follow in Liz Hatley's footsteps is simply phenomenal," Terrilin Holz, the school's principal said. "It has been an absolute joy to bring together such an elite group of educators, begin to build relationships within this community and foster a place where Falcons can call home here in Eagle Mountain-Saginaw."

The event concluded with tours of the building, constructed as part of the 2017 bond in the Beltmill development north of Baily-Boswell Road and east of Saginaw Boulevard. 

Ring said, “Thank you to our voters who approved the 2017 bond for their continued support and trust in our district to provide quality facilities that prioritize the education of their children for generations to come.” 

As the event wrapped up, the first generation of students learning at the school were filled with pride. 

“It's good because I got to be part of something special,” said Mateo Garcia, a third-grade student. “We learned a lot really fast for this performance. It feels great, really special.” 

Mateo’s mom, Jessica Garcia, enjoyed Mateo’s performance, but also reflected on Hatley’s words, and her impact on the campus. 

“It's awesome for the school to be named after someone who loves education so much and is so committed,” Garcia said. “Her influence of positivity and responsibility will be reflected in these kids and their education.” 

Hatley Elementary SchoolIn addition to the positivity of the teachers, administrators and staff, the design of the school also made a positive impression on the attendees. 

Linda Renfro, a retired teacher, said, "This building is amazing. It makes you want to start your career again. I love the space and the light. This whole design creates a place that a student would want to learn in.”

A welcoming new campus, a positive environment for student learning and relationship building and an event that brought the new Hatley Elementary School community together. 

“I thought it was great that Mrs. Hatley focused on relationships,” Zach Love said. “That's what the students will remember about their time here. The relationships and friendships that they make.” 

We are proud to welcome Elizabeth Lopez Hatley Elementary School to the #EMScommUNITY and are #EMSproud to know the legacy of Elizabeth Lopez Hatley will live on for generations through the campus that bears her name.