Teacher Feature

The following was a press release sent out by the Woodland Park School District

In the bustling world of education, where students’ safety is paramount, there are unsung heroes who work tirelessly behind the scenes. Today, Woodland Park School District shines a spotlight on Lori Padgett, a dedicated Librarian at Gateway Elementary School, who ensures the safety of students as they enter and exit the school premises.

Through her years of morning and afternoon crossing guard duty, Mrs. Padgett recognized the potential hazards and inconveniences that students and families faced, which helped her form an idea to have a sidewalk installed to address these concerns.

When chatting one day with Board Vice President David Illingworth, Mrs. Padgett mentioned the idea. Director Illingworth recognized her insight and appreciated her genuine concern for the students at Gateway. Mr. Illingworth embraced the idea wholeheartedly and worked with the WPSD administration to turn her vision into a reality.

Within a remarkably short span of three months, Mrs. Padgett’s dedication and Mr. Illingworth’s support materialized into an exciting development–the completion of a new sidewalk in front of the parking lot.

“I was beyond thrilled to return to work this August and find a sidewalk installed in front of the parking lot. The parking lot situation was not conducive to pedestrian safety, but the new sidewalk will allow students and parents to safely get from their cars to the school,” said Mrs. Padgett.

This sidewalk is a testament to Mrs. Padgett’s unwavering commitment and will be ready to welcome students and families on the very first day of school. Her determination and collaborative efforts with Mr. Illingworth have not only transformed an idea into tangible infrastructure but have also ensured the safety and convenience of Gateway’s students and families for years to come.

Mrs. Padgett expressed her appreciation, “Thank you, Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Witt, for listening to my concerns! I’ve seen many scary situations over the past 20 years which prompted the request for the sidewalk. Safety is always our number one concern for our students at Gateway!”

So, as the school year begins and students step onto the newly laid sidewalk, they may not be aware of the dedicated staff member who made it all possible. But for those who know her story, her name will forever be associated with the safe passage and bright future of the students at Gateway Elementary School. Thank you, Mrs. Padgett!