Under the guidance of Superintendent Thomas Crawford and the District #20 School Board, a decision was made to build Elementary School # 9. The student population of the neighboring school, High Plains Elementary, had expanded beyond capacity. High Plains’ overflow students were being bussed to Pine Valley Elementary on the Air Force Academy.
In 1984, the school board decided to build Elementary School #9 to relieve the crowded conditions in the Briargate neighborhood. Union Boulevard was the established boundary between High Plains Elementary and the new elementary school #9. The site, with a spectacular view of Pikes Peak and the Front Range was selected by the District #20 School Board headed by President Nancy Conover. Bids for construction were awarded to the Architect, Muir & Associates and the selected contractor was Bassett Construction.
The name, Frontier Elementary, was chosen by the cadre of teachers under the guidance of our first principal, Carol Jackson. Completion and the dedication of Frontier was August 1, 1985. The new staff opened with the second largest elementary population in District #20. A population of 542 students in grades Kindergarten through sixth entered the doors of Frontier that September, 1985. All sixth grade classes in District #20 moved to Middle School the following year because of the newly adopted Middle School concept. The new staff and students selected the Bald Eagle as the school mascot, “The Sky is the Limit,” as the school motto, and maroon and navy blue as school colors. Murals depicting the history of flight were painted in each hallway and became the theme of Frontier. The Frontier song, “Reach for the Sky,” was written by Susan Schmidt, a Frontier cadre teacher.
Under the leadership of Principal Carol Jackson and Assistant Principal LeAnn Metzger, Frontier grew to a capacity of over 800 students. Principal Carol Jackson retired in 1992, and Arthur J. Mahoney became principal with Gloria Steed as Assistant Principal. Under Mr. Mahoney’s leadership, Frontier was awarded the National School of Excellence Award in 1996-97.
The Blue Ribbon Status was awarded on November 5, 1997 in Washington D.C. Special honors in technology, school safety, discipline, drug prevention, and professional development helped define Frontier as one of the best elementary schools in the nation. The 702 students and the staff of Frontier assembled for a ceremony on the front lawn. Balloons were released during the ceremony to send Frontier representatives off to Washington D.C. to receive the award. Messages inside the balloons instructed anyone finding a balloon to return the message. Some balloons traveled as far as Minnesota, Texas and Louisiana, telling of the honor. The National School of Excellence album contains congratulatory letters from President Clinton and other dignitaries, pictures of the ceremony and messages returned from inside the balloons.
Mr. Mahoney left Frontier in 1997 to open the Academy International School. Frontier’s new principal was Casey Tencick who served with Assistant Principals Kathy Malvern and Elaine Nash respectively. Ms.Tencick served in the leadership role from 1997-2004. Kim Holm became Interim Principal with Assistant Principal Elaine Nash in 2004 while Casey Tencick took a temporary position at the Central Administration Office. Dr. Belinda Lujan-Lindsey served as principal from 2004 through 2015 with Assistant Principals B.J. Campbell and Pat Green, respectively.
Our current principal is Miss Kelly Garnhart and our current Assistant Principal is Mrs. Rachel Rollings. Distinguished awards and honors decorate the hallways of Frontier confirming the continued success and achievements of the many students and staff who have been a part of our school. Frontier Elementary has been a place “Where dreams take flight one student at a time."
Over the twenty year history of Frontier, students have “Reached for the Stars’” through the guidance of many dedicated staff members and through many special activities and programs. From the opening of Frontier Elementary in 1985; students, staff, parents and the extended community have mutually contributed to a trusting partnership and the excellence of Frontier. Students continue to “Reach for the Sky” as they explore and learn in a safe, caring and academically challenging environment.