Cook Elementary School honored former principal Bill Spicer by renaming the campus nature center to commemorate his legacy at the school.
Cook surprised Spicer with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 30. Spicer retired from the Fort Smith School District in 2017 after completing his 49th year as a member of the staff. Throughout his time with the district, Spicer was recognized as AAEOP Administrator of the Year, FSAEOP Administrator of the Year, the Arkansas PTA Administrator of the Year, and as a CTA Golden Apple Award winner.
“I have big shoes to fill,” said Courtney Morawski, current principal at Cook, in regards to Spicer’s legacy.
As principal, Spicer impacted the lives of more than 20,000 students and their families. Spicer’s ultimate goal was to work with students to make the school and community a better place.
Cook kindergarten teacher Cami Stancil witnessed Spicer’s hard work for many years. Stancil said she is grateful to have Spicer as a friend who has “given her as sense of family.”
“I want to thank all of you for your efforts keeping our nature area beautiful, not only for the students, but also for the entire neighborhood,” Spicer said during the ceremony.
The Bill Spicer Nature Center is open to the public. Visitors can sit in the gazebo, admire the nature or walk on the walking trail on the elementary school’s campus.