Cindy McCain was the featured guest at a groundbreaking Nov. 4 at the site of the Buckeye Elementary School District’s ninth school, John S. McCain III Elementary.
Named after the legendary Arizona senator, the school was designed by the Orcutt Winslow Architecture Firm and is being constructed by the Chasse Building Team.
It is scheduled to open in August.
McCain spoke about how her family embraced the school as part of her late husband’s legacy.
“John often spoke of how important teachers were to him becoming who he was. He was a guy that sometimes wasn’t always on the right path and would get himself in trouble, but teachers always helped guide him back,” she said.
The school will be located on land donated by the Walton Group, near Miller and Lower Buckeye roads in Buckeye.
Against a backdrop that featured renderings of the school, ceremonial and commemorative items, with a colorful display of balloons and decorations that showcased the school’s official colors of navy blue and gold, a series of speakers addressed the crowd on a clear morning in the West Valley suburb.
Superintendent Dr. Kristi Wilson said the school will be unique.
John S. McCain III Elementary will feature a cutting-edge C-STEM (coding, science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum that will also balance critical thinking, humanities through history and social skills.
“There are schools that feature coding as part of their curriculum, for example, but there is so much more to a well-rounded educational experience,” Wilson said. “Learners must also learn how to empathize, collaborate, relate and be of service to their families and their communities.”
Wilson emphasized the importance of the school’s name.
“We are determined to have Sen. McCain represented by more than his name on the front of the building. This will be a school that reverberates with his presence. His energy. His curiosity. His honor,” she said.
Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck and Jane Hunt, governing board president, also spoke at the ceremony.
McCain closed her speech by telling the audience, “I’m excited to get these shoes dirty and turn some dirt!” before donning a hard hat and participating in the dig.