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Pleasant Hill Elementary honors late teacher with outdoor classroom

In memory of a former teacher, Pleasant Hill Elementary opened a new learning space this year that has students and teachers enjoying the great outdoors.

Beloved PHES Fifth-Grade Teacher John Wukits lost his battle with cancer in 2011. Knowing he was a science teacher at heart and always wanted a place to take students outside to learn, Wukits’ family asked people to donate money toward building an outdoor classroom. The John Wukits Memorial Outdoor Classroom Fund accepted donations in his memory.

Years of research and a spring and summer of hard work by PHES staff and families led to the grand opening of the outdoor classroom this year. The space features a “book nook,” where teachers can take their classes to read in the fresh air, as well as a table for the teacher to conference with students.

Another area of the outdoor classroom has four large tables with umbrellas and whiteboards for whole-class or small-group work.

Teachers and students enjoy being able to go outside to “Grow, Learn and Share!”

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