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Gage Gators Hold Ribbon-Cutting for New Playfield Dedicated to Beloved P.E. Teacher

Gage Gators Hold Ribbon-Cutting for New Playfield Dedicated to Beloved P.E. Teacher
Posted on 11/25/2019

Cindi Elrod Resized
File Image of Former Gage Elementary P.E. Teacher, Cindi Elrod. Elrod passed away in Nov. 2018 of an aneurysm

November 25, 2019

SAN DIEGO - Gage Elementary School Gators joined Superintendent Cindy Marten and City Councilmember Scott Sherman in a celebration and dedication of their new 163,000 square-foot joint-use field on Thursday, Nov. 14.

Staff, along with the help of District and City leaders, former students, and the community, worked to name the field "The Cindi Elrod Joint-Use Field" after former Teacher-of-the-Year, Cindi Elrod.

WATCH: KUSI News Coverage of the Event

"Cindi was so monumental to our school," Principal Kathy Burns said.

"She had so many expectations for us here everyday to improve and just have fun with each other, too," said Nolen Harris, a San Diego University State student and former Cindi Elrod student. "She always had a way of putting her own twist on everything we did here."

Cindi Elrod Sisters and Friends

Above: Sisters of Cindi Elrod stand with Friends of Cindi folllowing the dedication ceremony to the "Cindi Elrod Joint-Use Field" on Nov. 14, 2019.

Elrod taught for 25 years at Gage. San Diego Unified School District named her the Elementary Teacher-of-the-Year in 2006. In 2015, she was recognized for her work with San Diego Chargers to create a mini-gym she coined the "Neuronasium." Elrod also made news headlines for setting records for her students. In June 2013, she told Fox 5 San Diego she wanted to promote a healthy lifestyle with students, as well as social skills.

"They're all helping out each other, they get to know each other and it's building our community," Elrod said.

San Diego Unified also promotes a healthy lifestyle through its wellness initiative.

Superintendent Cindy Marten and the Board of Trustees, encourage schools to follow the Coordinated School Health model.

"All of these joint-use fields enhance our students' health and wellbeing," Marten said. "I know Cindi would be ecstatic if she could be here with us to celebrate this field, and to see the community's vision for this park finally becoming a reality."

Gage Field Aerial and Students Running

Left: Aerial photo of new "Cindi Elrod Joint-Use Field." Right: Gage Elementary Students Run on Field for the First Time.

Funded through voter-approved Propositions S and Z, the Cindi Elrod Joint-Use Field at Gage Elementary includes two memorial benches, a new grass field, walking and running path, drinking fountain, security gates, and fencing.

As part of the Play All Day partnership with the City of San Diego, the joint-use field will be accessible to the community as a local park after school hours and during school breaks. You can read more about the initiative here.

Speaking about the Play All Day Partnership, Councilmember Scott Sherman said, "it's a great idea, and it's just part of what we've been doing with the school system."

"Cindi loved her students and the Gage Community," Denise Rodriguez said of her sister. "We miss her dearly but she's with us and enjoying this field."

Sherman Dr. Mike Any Field Cindy

Above (from left to right): Councilmember Scott Sherman, San Diego Unified Board Trustee Dr. Mike McQuary, Interim Director of City of San Diego Parks & Recreation Board Andy Field, & Superintendent Cindy Marten.


San Diego Unified BOE Vote to Name Field after Cindi Elrod


City of San Diego Parks and Rec Board Approves Naming of Cindi Elrod Field