Santa is part of the family at Fonwood ECC

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Students and staff at Fonwood Early Childhood Center didn’t just get a new building this year, they also got a new friend.

The new early childhood center opened to students in August, but crews have remained on site finishing punch list items. Though most work is done after school hours, HISD Construction Project Manager Dwight Wilson is at the school most days to oversee the project and ensure students are safe and work is being finished correctly.

It’s safe to say he has made quite an impression.

“He’s really bonded with the students and staff,” Fonwood ECC Principal Kimberly Agnew said. “He’s very friendly with the kids. He’s become part of our family.”

Agnew said that all the students know Wilson, and he is always quick to help with any task they put before him. The latest request? To play Jolly Old St. Nick at the school’s Breakfast with Santa.

Dressed in pajamas, the excited students lined up Friday morning to get their pictures made with Santa and tell him what they hoped to find under the tree on Christmas morning.

“I was honored when they asked me to be their Santa,” Wilson said. “I’ve never done it before, but it’s been fun. The kids are adorable — each one is special.”

As Agnew watched her students eagerly line up to meet Santa on the last day of school, she said she couldn’t have found a better person for the job, adding: “He makes a wonderful Santa.”

Fonwood Early Childhood Center is one of six new schools that HISD opened in August. About three dozen schools are currently under construction across the district — more than at any other time in district history. Once all work is complete, the district will boast of one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the country.