CREC International Magnet School building officially opens

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
South Windsor - posted Thu., Feb. 6, 2014
CREC Executive Director Dr. Bruce Douglas cuts the ribbon and officially declares the school open. Photos by Lisa Stone.
CREC Executive Director Dr. Bruce Douglas cuts the ribbon and officially declares the school open. Photos by Lisa Stone.

The Capital Region Education Council (CREC) International Magnet School for Global Citizenship, located at 625 Chapel Road in South Windsor, hosted the official opening ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new building on Jan. 17. The school has previously been operating from locations in East Hartford.

CREC Executive Director Dr. Bruce Douglas, IMS Principal Cindy Rigling, CREC COO Sandy Cruz-Serrano and Superintendent of CREC Schools Dina Crowl were joined by South Windsor Town Councilor Liz Pendleton (D), state Sen. Gary LeBeau (D-3) and state Rep. Timothy Larson (D-11) for the ribbon-cutting.

LeBeau reflected on the days when he taught history. “History is a study of people - the cause of their decisions and actions, and how this affected the world,” said LeBeau. “This school is a piece of history in the making. We are an inter-connected economy and we are global citizens. The students of this school are vanguards of the world.” He then went on to praise the teachers of the school. “I know these teachers are incredible; My daughter, Kara, is one of them,” LeBeau said with a smile.

Larson was full of praise to those who made this school become a reality. “This is a beautiful school. Not because of the bricks and stones, but because of the beautiful children in this school,” Larson said.

“This is a wonderful and exciting addition for South Windsor,” Pendleton added. “I grew up just one street away from here, so this school is very special to me. I am so thankful for all of the people that helped to make this school happen. I also had the privilege of meeting our future, self-proclaimed mayor, David Serrano. Though he is only in the first grade now, with schools like this, I am sure that David will achieve his goal.”

Parents like Staci Beamon think very highly of the school. “My 10-year-old son, Robert, loves this school,” said Beamon. “The best thing about this school is that they treat everyone like family.”

“Building a school is not for the weak of heart,” said Cruz-Serrano, the CREC COO. “It takes a great team of people who share the same goals. We are here today to celebrate a ‘Forever Home.’” The school broke ground Sept. 10, 2012. The projected enrollment was 435 students and a budget of $31.5 million.

This CREC International Magnet School, which is for students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, is an International Baccalaureate school with a theme of making global citizens. The students will be taught to appreciate diversity, and perform at the highest level of academics. Among the school’s goals are ensuring that teachers are really reaching the student and developing the best citizens possible.

After Rigling offered her appreciation to all concerned, including the parents and South Windsor residents, she explained the significance of a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Originally, the ribbon-cutting was a part of a wedding celebration. When the ribbon is cut, it signifies the ability to overcome problems and unite. That is what we are doing today,” she said. She then introduced the fourth- and fifth-graders, who sang “Sing for Peace,” directed by music teacher Tracy Abbate.

Douglas then used the over-sized scissors to cut the ribbon, officially opening the new building. The guests were then invited on a tour of the school.

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