Friday, May 16, 2014

Hometown Heroes

Lyons Elementary School third graders celebrated local heroes last week. Students in Debbie Simms’ third grade class each chose a hero to recognize during a special gathering at the school to honor the heroes for their dedication and assistance to the town in the wake of September’s floods.

Maya Caplan chose Red Cross Recovery Specialist Mary Steffens as her hero. Steffens volunteered to help with the Red Cross flood relief efforts in the immediate aftermath of the floods, and she has been coordinating Red Cross recovery efforts to help Lyons and surrounding communities recover from the floods.

“Really it was about the immediate response,” Steffens said. “It was the local community that did everything in the beginning before outside help could access Lyons.”

Steffans was one of about 20 heroes honored by the children, who gave presentations on the admired locals on May 6. Among the honored were Lyons Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen and Lyons Elementary School Principal Andrew Moore; another student chose to honor Man Street School in Longmont, whose teachers, staff and students opened their doors to Lyons students for the two-and-a-half months Lyons Elementary was closed last fall.

Denver photographer Peggy Dyer was another hero honored; Dyer photographed 400 Lyons Elementary School students, teachers and staff as part of her “1 Million Faces” project. Subjects held a whiteboard which displayed a message they wished to convey to the world. Some messages included statements such as, “I survived the flood,” but subjects were not asked to focus on the disaster.

“Sitting in this room, I felt so humbled,” Steffens said. “It was an honor to be recognized as a hero
among such amazing community members.”

Lyons Elementary School reopened in December 2013 and construction continues to restore the mountain town.

1 Million Faces Project at Lyons Elementary School

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