For a student, nothing marks the passage of time like the start of a new school year.
For educators in Bastrop, the start of this school year marks one year's time since fire devastated their community.
Thursday, educators in the Bastrop Independent School District held their annual convocation—the theme was “moving forward.” It was a chance for 1,200 Bastrop ISD employees to celebrate much more than just the start of a new school year.
Christian Fiebrich is the school librarian for Cedar Creek and Red Rock elementary schools. Her home was one of close to 1,700 in Bastrop County destroyed by last year’s Labor Day weekend wildfires.
"It was our home for 20 years. We had lived in Bastrop for 20 years, so it's not just your home, it is your neighbor's, it's your neighborhood," Fiebrich said. "It really felt like a war."
As Fiebrich began to put her life back together, she quickly realized she was not alone.
Many of her students and fellow teachers were in a similar situation. Some were displaced, while others lost everything.
"I have been in the business 31 years, and 13 as the superintendent, and very few times in my career have I been in awe. But I was in awe of seeing everyone come together the way that they did and recover the way that we have, and as fast as we have," Bastrop ISD Superintendent Steve Murray said
With a new school year just beginning, some say the lessons the community learned this past year will last a lifetime.
"If you have the love and care of a community, you are so blessed. We here in Bastrop know that we are moving forward as a community and as a school district, and individuals,” Fiebrich said. “All is not lost. We are facing a beautiful future."
Classes for Bastrop ISD start Aug. 27.