Faces of 501: Christopher Wagner

Christopher Wagner, right, with his grandson Gage Wagner, 14, with the work that Gage did in the  front of Meadows Elementary. 

Child Nutrition Services Specialist Christopher Wagner will have worked for Topeka Public Schools for two years in February, but long has had respect for the employees of TPS and the work that they have done with his grandsons. Wagner’s 14-year-old grandson Gage, and a freshman at Topeka High, recently finished his Boy Scout Eagle project at Meadows Elementary. The project made the front entrance to Meadows more beautiful and functional for the school, and showed the dedication that the Wagner family has to the Boy Scouts. 

“As Boy Scouts, we really work hard together with team effort, that everyone should be working as hard as the person next to you. As Scouts we do a lot of community service by doing food drives, cleaning parks and other services around the community. When not helping the community, we do activities like fishing, canoeing, camping, archery, football, baseball and everything else you can think of. We teach the E.D.G.E (Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, Enable) method to the boys. This allows them to develop, they learn how to run their own meetings and activities and it teaches them how to handle situations on their own. Scouts teach respect, community, country, being independent, build friendships, family bonding and self-esteem.

Gage’s project was created with the school, he wanted to give back to his elementary school. When you do a Scout project it needs to be something that can enhance the community. He met with the principal and the custodian, then found a project that needed to be done and together they chose landscaping work at the school. The project was done in two phases, the first phase was a family project where we edged and mulched the flagpole area. The final part of the project included members of Troop 29 and we all landscaped the front entrance of the school with stone, planted a shrub, mulched, and painted the bike rack.

Our family has a lot respect for Meadows Elementary, we don’t know what there isn’t to like. My wife and I adopted Gage and his younger brother Wesson in 2009. Prior to that, the boys suffered some personal family issues. The boys had to overcome many challenges over their years at Meadows. The staff, teachers, counselors and administrators at Meadows worked with our kids over the years. Their compassion and understanding toward our boys and all students surpasses anything I’ve seen in my life.

As a parent and grandparent, I want my kids to know that everything happens for a reason. Focus on one thing at a time. You can have it all, but not at once. Plan ahead, but your plans will definitely change when the time comes. Trust your instincts. And it’s okay to be unsure about your purpose in life, take a leap of faith in yourself.” 

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