As the 2021-2022 school year comes to a close, seniors are beginning to feel sentimental about their time as students in Manitou Springs School District 14, especially those who started kindergarten in Manitou.

These seniors, who have grown up through MSSD14 for the past 13 years, have known nothing other than to be a Mustang, which stands for honesty, respect, equality, inclusion for all and support through community.

“There’s a sense of community when you grow up in this environment,” senior Adele Goodwin said. “It feels good to know that we’re all in it together, and everybody welcomes everybody with open arms.”

Senior Grayer Whipkey feels this way as well. Other school districts may be good, even great, but MSSD14 is different.

“No matter what district you go to school in, it will end up well — but I would highly recommend MSSD14 because it gives children a close-knit community, where they are able to grow up with trusted teachers, staff and peers,” Whipkey said. “I would say that growing up here at MSSD14, the environment creates lifelong friendships.”

Goodwin agrees.

“It’s a good idea to put your child into this community. Manitou provides a sense of community and welcomeness and love that no other school district can match.”

It’s evident that these seniors had a great educational experience at MSSD14. They also made many memories. Whipkey and fellow senior Max Goede recalled a specific memory that made their time at Manitou even more special.

“One of my favorite memories is every morning and most days after school for most of elementary school, Grayer and I would play Minecraft on my mom’s (Jeana Farrell) computers in her classroom,” Goede said.

Whipkey also named that as a favorite memory.

Both Goede and Whipkey’s mothers taught at Manitou Springs Elementary School. Most teachers and faculty members from MSSD14 choice their children into Manitou if they live out of district.

Teacher’s kids grow up in the district, and they spend extra time in the school buildings and at extracurricular activities. This makes their time at MSSD14 even more special.

The seniors cherish the close-knit community, the friends who feel like family and the way they grew up at Manitou.

“Growing up here was kinda sweet,” Goede said. “The small and tight community leads you to get to know everyone, making friends is easy, being involved is easy. Overall, it’s an amazing district.”

With graduation approaching quicker than any of the seniors want to admit, these ’Stangs will no longer be ’Stangs, but will hopefully be taking the values of the Mustang into their newest adventures, to aid them in their next steps.

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