Mustangs mark new elementary school opening

by Senior Airman Victor J. Caputo, 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Stripes Korea

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Students, faculty, other members of Team Osan and key individuals from Department of Defense Education Activity gathered at the new Osan American Elementary School for a ribbon cutting ceremony Oct. 25.

 The ceremony marked the culmination of three years of construction, and the students dedicated the beginning of a new era with a time capsule, which will be buried in front of the school until 2041.

 “Our children have been a big part of this, even since the groundbreaking in 2013,” said Mona Morgan, OAES principal. “They certainly have a feeling of ownership for this new facility.”

 The key design element in the new facility is a 21st century learning environment in which students will see collaborative and communicative skills become a focus, in addition to traditional educational topics.

 “When you come in, everything is open,” said Morgan. “There are no closed walls; it’s a neighborhood. They are all working together, the kids learn to talk together, collaborate and think critically . . . it’s just awesome when you walk into one of these neighborhoods and see the flow of it all.”

 Since the groundbreaking in 2013, local Korean contractors, personnel from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron, and other units from throughout the base worked together to ensure everything met or exceeded expectations.

 The effort provides some of Team Osan’s youngest members one of the most state-of-the-art educational facilities in the entire Department of Defense.

 “Our mini-Mustangs at the elementary school are being set up for future success,” said Col. Andrew Hansen, 51st Fighter Wing commander. “This amazing new facility, staffed by an incredible group of educators, is the perfect place for Team Osan’s children to learn how to achieve their goals and grow into the best people they can be.”

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