Maplewood Elementary to Celebrate Peace Sculpture Unveiling on Wednesday, September 6

Austin ISD’s Maplewood Elementary is thrilled to announce its 65th anniversary year with an unveiling celebration for a new piece of public art on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 8 a.m. Located at 3808 Maplewood Ave., the event will take place in front of the school’s entrance where the sculpture is located and will be open to the public and current and former students. Attending AISD representatives will be announced.

Maplewood is an elementary school for grades pre-K through sixth located in East Austin. Opening in 1952, the school is known for its diverse student body and its motto “Increase the Peace.” The school is rated exemplary in the areas of overall performance, the fine arts, wellness and physical education, community and parental involvement, digital learning environment, dropout prevention strategies, educational programs for gifted and talented students, its Second Language Acquisition Program and its 21st Century Workforce Development Program.

The school is celebrating its 65th year with the installation of “Peace Sculpture” by local artist Chris Levack​. The piece was donated by Maplewood parents Daniel Colimon and Jennifer Rappoport, whose son Nicolas Colimon

“The peace sculpture honors the school’s efforts to teach students to be peacemakers in our world,” said Vickie Jacobson, Maplewood Principal. “It’s exciting to think about 65 years of educating Austin’s children, and to know we are still providing the very best education for all of our students each day! I’m looking forward to celebrating our amazing 65th year!”

Each school year, Maplewood students make the “Peacemaker Pledge”  at the beginning of the year. The pledge is: “I promise to do my best to treat everyone fairly, be kind to everyone – even if they are not like me. If I see someone being hurt or bullied, I will act as an ally if I feel safe or report it to an adult. Everyone should feel safe and happy at our school.” The school’s goal is to promote peaceful, inclusive behaviors between students, parents and all members of the community, and it has earned a “No Place for Hate” distinction from the Anti-Defamation League for five consecutive years.

“Teaching core social emotional skills are the foundation of the teaching that our staff does each day,” said Kelli Kirk, Maplewood School Counselor. “We work to help students become self aware, regulate their emotions, make responsible decisions, and in turn, become more socially aware and empathetic. What could be more important than raising children who bring those skills into the world as adults?”

When asked “What does it mean to be a Peacemaker?” Maplewood first graders had this to say:

“It means helping people, helping people solve problems and helping people who are being mean to be nice to each other.” – Amelia.

“To be kind, help people and stop bullying.” – Anthony.

“To share and be thankful.” – Joseph.

Maplewood Elementary has been lauded as a beautifully diverse representation of Austin, offering dual-language learning and an incorporation of the arts into all of its classes. The school’s mission statement, “to develop the WHOLE child – one who feels valued and is successful within a cooperative, safe learning environment,” resonates in the lessons taught in and events held out of the classroom. One of the key attributes of Maplewood is the focus on Social Emotional Learning (SEL), which can be seen daily in the school’s “Peacemaker” awards program where students are recognized for courageous behavior during morning assembly.

Parent’s David and Priscilla Boston’s sons attended Maplewood in the ‘90s, when the “Increase the Peace” program was first implemented. She remembers how much they valued their Peacemaker awards and said the program “was a real asset to their education. I think it really stuck. They’ve incorporated what they learned into how they interact with family, friends and coworkers.”

“Working closely with our staff and parents and the community, we strive each day to ensure that every child is confident, successful and respected,” said Vickie Jacobson, Maplewood Principal.

Maplewood also hosts a number of events throughout the year such as Fall Fest, Spring Fling, Mustang Stampede Fun Run, Parent Prom and more. It is a resource to the surrounding community, serving as an official polling location and the venue for the annual Cherrywood Art Fair, one of Austin’s most cherished holiday markets. For more information on Maplewood Elementary, please see

Maplewood illustration by Caitlin Alexander 2017

About Chris Levack

Chris Levack is a sculptor who works primarily on large-scale outdoor artwork. Inspired by the Texas landscape, he has specialized in materials that withstand the elements such as architectural terra cotta, copper and exterior woods. He created “Pollen Grain” and “Wigwam” on the Mueller Southwest Greenway. He has two daughters who graduated from Maplewood. For more information, please see

About Caitlin B. Alexander

Caitlin B. Alexander is an illustrator based in East Austin with a particular love for dry-brush gouache painting. Both her life and work are heavily influenced by the aesthetics of the ‘40s, ’50s and ’60s. She fancies herself a collector of memories as much as a collector of things and enjoys bringing this sense of nostalgia to her audience. For more information, please see

Media Contact

Heather Wagner Reed, Juice Consulting










Maplewood to Host Discussion of 1.05B AISD Bond

Austin ISD has proposed a 1.05 billion dollar bond package for the Novemember election. But what’s in it? And should you support it? Former Maplewood parent Dusty Harshman, who served on the Facilities and Bond Planning Advisory Committee and has been deeply involved in the bond package creation, will be on hand to explain the bond and answer questions. #AISDbond #AISDfuture
The meeting is open to the public. Members of the Maplewood Elementary School PTA will vote on whether to support the bond or not.
Bond FAQ:
Additional info:

Back to School Tacos and Popsicles

Students and their families were invited to practice their walk or bike ride to school and meet on the basketball court to get to know their classmates and neighbors on the Saturday before classes started. Our neighbors at Servant Church generously provided tacos and coffee, and the PTA  brought popsicles. Dozens of families came out for a relaxed morning to (re)connect before the beginning of the school year.

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Photos by Melanie Chasteen and Heather Wagner Reed


Back to School Dates and Newsletter

The first day of class at Maplewood will be Monday, August 21! This will be the school’s 65th anniversary and we are looking forward to welcoming new and returning students to campus. The PTA has published it’s first weekly newsletter with all kinds of info for families. You can find it online here. To subscribe, email You don’t want to miss it!

Important dates

New Kid Camp – Wednesday, August 17th, 1 – 2 PM
Kinder Camp – Wednesday, August 17th, 3 – 4 PM
For families with kiddos new to Maplewood, these “camps” are an opportunity for you all to visit the Maplewood campus, have an informational session with Principal Jacobson, meet some of our faculty, and tour the classrooms. It’s also a chance to get to know other incoming families and classmates.

Meet the Teacher, Friday, August 18th, 4 – 5 PM
This is your family’s opportunity to meet your student’s new teacher and visit the student’s new classroom.

Popsicle Social Saturday, August 19th at 9:30 – 11:30 AM On the Blacktop
Maplewood PTA’s annual Popsicle social is an informal event to gather with your Maplewood community. Special thank you to our friends and neighbors from Servant Church, for providing breakfast!


New Peace Sculpture at Maplewood

The neighborhood’s newest public art, “Peace Sculpture” by Chris Levack​, was installed this summer and is ready to welcome students back to Maplewood Elementary School! The piece was created by the dad of two Maplewood alumni who lives in Delwood 2, and donated by Nicolas Colimon, Mustang Class of 2017. It honors the school’s efforts to teach students to be peacemakers. We will have an official “unveiling” on Sept. 6 @ 8 a.m., and plan to invite the community and former students.