Photo by Iris Campbell | SMPD officers and Chief with Travis leaders (left to right) Principal Niki Konecki, Assistant Principal Trista De La Cruz, teacher Debbie Gonzalez
On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, members of the San Marcos Police Department met with Travis Elementary School faculty and administrators to honor them for their school-readiness when their campus was threatened by flooding on October 30, 2015. When high waters rose around the school, the SMPD made 15 trips to the school, over a period of several hours, in a high-water vehicle to evacuate 600 students and employees to safety.
Principal Niki Konecki was out of town for a conference, and the responsibility was with Assistant Principal Trista De La Cruz. She was supported by campus teacher and “emerging leader administrator” Debbie Gonzalez who helped coordinate events that transpired.
The rescue team met was reunited Wednesday with the teachers and staff who worked so closely with them on that dramatic day. The police thanked the teachers and support staff for their assistance, cooperation, and bravery and presented them with a special plaque.
Evacuations on October 30 began about 11 am and continued until De La Cruz rode out on the last trip at 7 pm. Where the school sat remained dry, but it was surrounded by water. School buses were lined up to move everyone to safety, but they too became surrounded by high water.
De La Cruz said that the Travis teachers did an amazing job keeping the children calm, and treating the whole event as “an adventure.”
Principal Konecki told guests and reporters, “This is why we practice drills.”