Four Points Middle creates Falcon Nest — a place to connect

Four Points Middle School student Noah Blant cuts the ribbon unveiling the new Falcon
Nest with PTA volunteer Kelli Merchant. LYNETTE HAALAND

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

The band played, the choir sang, the cheerleaders cheered and the students hung out as Four Points Middle School unveiled its new Falcon Nest — a place created to foster connections.

“The Falcon Nest represents a vision, a culture we want to create here,” said Steve Crawford, FPMS principal.

There was a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 9 at FPMS’s new Falcon Nest. A partnership with Leander ISD and Sendero Homes helped to build the new space, which includes comfy and hip seating and tables surrounded by student artwork.

Crawford says this space encourages collaboration. 

“No matter how different we are or how alike we are, we have a voice to collaborate with others… this is a place where everybody belongs,” Crawford said. “Each person is more than a single story.” 

FPMS student Ellie Kim spoke at the ceremony. She recalled facing a challenge at age 13 that caused her a lot of tears, but out of that she realized that the challenge did not make her a failure. “No it made me 10 times better,” she said.

“I know I’m going to make mistakes,” Kim said. “I have a lot to learn. I have time to improve and make changes.”

Emma Heslinga also spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony. She describes her time at FPMS as a privilege. “I’m thankful to have this experience.” 

Heslinga encouraged fellow classmates to let their voices be heard.

“Your words need to be heard. Speak up,” she said. 

The FPMS choir sang a song with lyrics: “In a time full of war, be peace… In a world full of hate, be a light”.

It was then time for Noah Blant to cut the ribbon to unveil the Falcon Nest. Kelli Merchant, FPMS PTA volunteer, was also there to help.

Blant is an example of a student who is bringing other students together. He had an idea to create a student-to-student help desk when COVID-19 affected schooling so drastically a year ago. Today The Falcon Force is a real-time app that gives students technology support.

The idea of the Falcon Nest was started last year — during Crawford’s first year at FPMS —  with the PTA board. “The idea was born out of the group on what to do with the blank (open) area that was very hospital looking,” he said.

The idea was there but the message from LISD was that it could likely happen in a couple of years. A donation of $10,000 from Sendero Homes, however, accelerated the vision. Sendero was founded by Four Points residentCosmo Palmieriand has local leadership including Scott Walther and Lance Haley.

With the donation, the PTA vote to move forward came around March 2020 but unfortunately the pandemic delayed the project. The furniture shipped in the summer but wasn’t allowed to be opened for a while due to COVID restrictions. 

Finally, nearly a year later, the ribbon cutting ceremony was organized but then the Texas winter storm paused the unveiling in mid February.

Now this new common space is exactly where the PTA and Crawford hope students will go when FPMS opens doors at 7:35 a.m. and throughout the day. 

“People can get hidden. Everyone has a story in school,” Crawford said, and this new space can help people connect.

Phase 2 and 3 will include other open spaces where other Falcon Nests can be created with furniture in the future.