EL PASO (U.S. ARMY) — Retired Gen. Colin L. Powell, former Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State, visited Powell Elementary School at Fort Bliss, Oct. 17.
“Today was the culmination of years trying to get the namesake of our school, General Powell,” said Principal, Andrew Veilleux. “When we found out he was coming to El Paso, we immediately began to pursue that, and fortunately for our school, he was able to visit today.”
Powell, a former Army general and first African-American JCS, has nine schools named after him – El Paso’s Powell Elementary is the ninth.
During the visit, Powell walked the halls, shook hands, spoke with, and greeted students and faculty.
“I’ve been looking forward to visiting this school since it opened in summer of 2009,” said Powell.
“I’m glad I’m able to come and meet all the “Powell Rangers.”
After meeting the younger students, Powell got together with the older students and shared his history as a public school student, and touched on future goals to look forward to and work toward.
“It was very touching, especially to hear him talking about his (experiences),” said Veilleux. “To hear him share the same ideals that we have at Colin Powell is truly amazing and exciting for us.”
Powell Rangers presented Powell with gifts, including a thank you Texas boot, representing the character of the school, and in return, Powell gave the school his world globe and lasting advice.
“The teachers that come here with you are giving you the greatest gift – an education – and they come here to love and care for you and it’s your responsibility to pay attention, to what they have to tell you. Do your homework, make sure that you’re behaving, and above all, take care of each other,” said Powell.