Return to Headlines

Elementary Nature Center Named for Former Principal

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.

Emanuel Pena, FSPS Intern