LISD’s Students Make Rod Presentation to Governor Perry on behalf of Outdoor Ed
On the afternoon of Thursday, May 24, 2012, LISD staff member and former Outdoor Education Instructor, David Mohr and 2011 LHS graduate and former Outdoor Education student, Ethan Ragland, drove to Bastrop, Texas, to the Bastrop Fire Station two. There they met with Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt and his staff member, John Higgins.
With the help of Rep. Kleinschmidt’s office, a meeting with Governor Rick Perry was orchestrated in order to present a fishing pole that the students of Lexington High School Outdoor Education made for the governor for his support in the outdoor education movement.
The fishing pole, a seven foot popping rod med fast action made on a GLoomis blank, with Fuji eyes, Fuji reel seat and natural cork grips, was presented to Governor Perry by Ethan that afternoon. The students who worked on the pole hand fitted all of the components on the rod and used maroon metallic string to wrap the rod. The students also made a decorative maroon diamond wrap chased with a white colored thread to accent the design – one that highlighted the colors of the Governor’s alma mater – Texas A & M University. The supplies used to build the rod were purchased through Fishing Tackle Unlimited in Houston, another supporter of outdoor education.
It took the class two weeks to complete the rod project. When Ethan presented the fishing pole to Governor Perry, the Governor seemed to be at a loss for words. Governor Perry began to tell Ethan where the rod would be used and the different types of fish he would target with it. Governor Perry also commented that he had never received a gift as special as the fishing pole and how important it is to educate our youth on the outdoors.
Unfortunately, the Outdoor Education department at LISD, and at many other districts across the state, was cancelled after the 2010-11 school year due to budget cuts. However, according to Mohr, the Governor would like to see districts do whatever they can to continue the outdoor education program, offering students the opportunity to learn about the many aspects of outdoor enjoyment, including archery and fishing, to name a couple.
Alan Warren of the national television and radio outdoor show “Alan Warren Outdoors”, interviewed Governor Perry last year and that interview was used to focus the importance of Outdoor Education for today’s students. Warren helped start a movement called “I Support Outdoor Education”. For more info and to see Ethan and Governor Perry, go to www.isupportoutdoored.com.