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Campus Spotlight: Bonham Elementary, Where Discovery supports Building Student Hopes and Dreams

This school year, Bonham Elementary Principal Heidi Wierzowiecki invited families and students to “Discover Bonham” as part of a campus-wide celebration of the school, students and educators and as commitment to helping each child find their strengths and talents. On a journey of discovery at Bonham, you’ll see vibrant, engaging student work displayed in the halls, unique touches like the welcoming red “Buddy” bench by the playground, and beside every single teacher’s classroom door, a personalized “why statement” sharing their driving purpose as an educator. In this week’s San Angelo ISD Campus Spotlight, we invite you to join in the discovery of Bonham Elementary and how teachers' “why statements” ultimately empower and lift up every student.

Principal Wierzowiecki, affectionately and respectfully also known by the shortened name Ms. W, leads this campus of over 500 students together with Assistant Principal Matt Escue. She implemented the “Discover Bonham” theme to align Bonham students and staff in coming together to tell their collective story while supporting the individual hopes and dreams of every student. This began well before the start of school when Ms. W prompted her Bonham educators to create their very own “why statements.” The touching statements not only serve as a daily reminder for team members highlighting their inspirational purpose and impacting intentional instructional design, but also serve as a means to connect with students and families in a personal way. Just a few examples of Bonham teacher “why statements” include:

“She wants every student to feel loved, valued and important.” - Ms. Helms, first grade
“She creates a safe, positive environment to support and encourage all students.” - Mrs. Flores, third grade
“She instills a love of learning by making learning fun and engaging.” - Mrs. Joiner, third grade

“We love that our staff is focused on our ‘why’. They love teaching and working with their students every day,” said Principal Wierzowiecki. "Our staff is dedicated to making this the best learning environment possible for our students.”

The statements of the Bonham educator team combine to create an environment of support and empowerment for students at Bonham, an overall feeling of dedication to students and commitment to the mission of engaging students in a relevant and inspiring education. Bonham is also a Capturing Kids’ Hearts (CKH) campus which means leadership and educators learn, practice and model skills to build a safe, welcoming school with a relationship-driven culture and student social-emotional well-being prioritized. As part of CKH, Bonham students and staff collaborate to create social contracts that can be seen throughout the campus, written in bright colors, signed by students and educators, and highlighting common commitments like “be kind”, “be respectful” and “share.” 

On a journey of discovery at Bonham, you’d also learn that the school recently added a TRIYS program, which stands for Texas Research Institute for Young Scholars, and comes to Bonham on Tuesdays to engage students that are part of the Gifted and Talented Program with enrichment, acceleration, independent research and study topics.  The program is another way Bonham staff help to provide more customizable support for students. Other features of the Bonham campus include a STEM Lab for creative, hands-on activities, a library with a “Celebrating All the Ways Students are SMART'' wall with handwritten notes by students sharing ways they are smart from musical talent to athletic achievement to kindness and more. Principal Wierzowiecki and team express gratitude to community partners who consistently support the school in a multitude of ways, one being the Heights Church which works with students and provides special treats at times. 

A final discovery for Bonham is that legend has it, the way Bonham students got their mascot of the Rattlers, traces back to when the school first opened in 1986, when the then-principal, Mr. Krupala, found a rattlesnake on campus! 

We hope you enjoyed this SAISD Campus Spotlight on Bonham Elementary. We wish our Bonham Rattlers, Ms. W and staff a wonderful 2021-2022 school year, and the fulfillment of, and progress toward, growing hopes and dreams! To stay up-to-date on San Angelo ISD, please visit the SAISD website at www.saisd.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter