Captain Mark Tyler Voss Middle School Dedication
Connie McFall Clark | Contributing Writer – Capt. Mark Tyler Voss
Middle School is an attractive new campus in Bergheim and part of the Boerne Independent School District (BISD).On September 14, a beautiful and poignant dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony attracted a stadium full of students, parents, teachers, Board of Trustees, and family and friends of the late Captain Mark Tyler Voss. Voss, a graduate of Boerne High School and son of Marcy and Wayne Voss of Boerne, died in 2013 in Kyrgyzstan in a KC-135 aircraft. He was an Aircraft Commander and part of the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Captain Victoria “Tory” Pinckney and Technical Sergeant Herman “Tre” Mackey III were onboard as well. The incident is still being investigated. Principal Dr. Beto Hinojosa, Jr.; BISD Superintendent Dr. Tommy Price; and BISD Board President Dr. Joe Tidwell welcomed the crowd and spoke of the pride and accomplishment in this new BISD Middle School. Dr. Price stated that dedicating the school to a former student of BISD means everything and he thanked the Voss family for letting BISD celebrate Tyler’s life.
Dr. Tidwell stated how hard it is to name a school and how it is a privilege for BISD to accept the gift from the Voss family to allow Captain Mark Tyler Voss’ name to be an example for others to follow. The Voss Middle School (VMS) and Champion High School Choirs sang the National Anthem and the VMS and Boerne High School Bands presented the music. One of the most emotional and inspirational events of the ceremony was the US Air Force flyover tribute by the 120th Fighter Squadron of the Colorado Air National Guard. A Dedication gift was presented to Principal Hinojosa by Commander Charles Cecchini of the American Legion Captain Mark “Tyler” Voss Post 313 of Boerne. “As you see this award in your school, remember the men and women who stand guard over you on this soil and on battlefields in foreign lands.” He advised the students to learn how to use their knowledge and to study the Constitution closely.
He also thanked Mr. and Mrs. Voss for invoking the character of their son who took a solemn pledge to serve his country. Accompanying the Presentation of the Colors was a beautiful eagle with her handler from Sea World of San Antonio. The mascot for the school (Soar, Eagles, Soar!), as well as a tribute to the airmen, was also featured by the mission and vision of the school: S.O.A.R., examples of four character traits for students to strive toward. MSgt. Jody Russ, an instructor of Voss’, spoke about service. “Captain Voss entered the armed services instead of continuing sports for his adoring fans. He never struggled with expressing his character attributes and he had a positive attitude toward life.” He asked the students to serve their teachers, school, and selves by paying attention and taking their education seriously. A school friend, Matt Carriker, spoke of ownership stating, “Tyler was a friend but he was different than us and I looked up to him. He took ownership of his life early on and was driven to take the extra time to learn a skill or study for a class. He executed his plan.” He suggested the students do the same and lead by example as Captain Voss did, making a positive force in this world.
One of Voss’ teachers and neighbor, Tori Boyers, spoke of achievement and recounted Voss’ highest overall scores achieved in his training class, his quick rise to Captain and then Aircraft Commander shortly before his death. “He was a gifted pilot and his life personified achievement.” Voss’ mother, Marcy, spoke about resilience. She stated that Tyler decided to become a pilot when he was in Middle School and worked diligently to be accepted into the Air Force Academy. “He persevered through four hard years and learned what he could to become a leader.” He took a risk in taking flying lessons and did not pass the test to get his private pilot’s license the first time. “Rather than being discouraged, he remained optimistic, persevered and passed the following day.” She encouraged the students to take risks, remain confident and persevere during challenges and they could also achieve success. VMS Representatives participated in the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. A friend, Patricia Hausman, stated, “Voss Middle School is the most amazing place with an incredible team of faculty and staff. There is a positive vibe from the leadership down to the students. Working in the front office, I have the opportunity to work closely with the faculty and staff as well as the parents and students. I am honored and blessed to be a Voss Eagle!”