FORT SILL, OK (KSWO) - A new name for Freedom Elementary's Media Center, and a spirited dedication to the man who made the school possible. Barry Beauchamp was the former superintendent of Lawton Public Schools, and helped get the funding for the school during his time at the district. So, the current superintendent thought it was only fit to have a part of the building bearing his name.
Throughout the ceremony it was mentioned that Beauchamp loves libraries, and he loves Freedom's more than others. He told me that libraries started his passion for learning, and as he looked at the kids in the media center on Tuesday, he knew this center did the same for them.
"To quote the kids, it was awesome," said Beauchamp.
That was Beauchamp's reaction to the spirited and patriotic surprise ceremony to dedicate the media center in his name.
Beauchamp says he was on a tour, and knew something was happening.
"Well I didn't immediately think about it being for me," said Beauchamp. "I thought out we were having a library dedication so that's, you know, okay. Then I looked at my brochure, and my name was on it. I thought there is more to this than meets the eye."
And it was.
They also unveiled a portrait of Beauchamp. Placed the first thing in their trophy case, books etched with the former superintendent's name. And gave a booklet to him with the students' reasons why they love the library.
Current Superintendent Tom Deighan joked Beauchamp did the hard work in getting the elementary school funding started before he retired in 2013.
Deighan says he pushed for Beauchamp's name to be a permanent part of the school.
"I've had the honor to help the school board, and help to see his vision come to fruition," said Deighan. "Today, really caps off the entire project as we dedicate this library to him. It's been an honor to me as superintendent."
Beauchamp says even though he doesn't work for the district anymore, he hopes the school sets a standard for years to come.
"And that's where the real vision is," said Beauchamp. "It's not to stop at Freedom, even though it is wonderful. It's to continue this journey so that every child in our community gets to have an experience in a building like this."
Beauchamp says while he looked at his name on the media center wall, it reminded him of the people that helped make the school a reality. He says without them; they wouldn't be here today.