CHESTNUTHILL TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A teacher who gave his life saving his students during the school shooting in Parkland, Florida was honored tonight by his former school community in Monroe County.
Chris Hixon, a graduate of Pleasant Valley High School, now has a fitness center at the school that bears his name.
“This fitness center will forever be known as the Chris Hixon Fitness Center,” said Pleasant Valley High School Principal Matthew Triolo.
With those words, the fitness center inside Pleasant Valley High School near Brodheadsville was dedicated in honor of Chris Hixon, a 1986 graduate of the school.
His emotional mother clipped the ribbon in front of the entrance.
“For you Christopher, for you Chris,” sobbed Toni Hixon.
Hixon was a teacher who lost his life saving his students during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018.
His former school community came together to honor him with Chris's parents and brother.
“I am overwhelmed. I am really overwhelmed,” said Toni Hixon.
“Chris did an extraordinary act on that day, showed exactly who Chris really is,” said his brother Rick Hixon.
Also speaking at the service were Chris's former classmates.
“Chris's legacy will continue here at PV where it all began, and hopefully, it will inspire others to give back as Chris did,” said Laura Anglemyer.
A wall inside the fitness center holds a plaque describing Chris's heroic acts on that fateful day.
“As years go by, that name is always going to be on that wall, so if students start to forget and they say, 'Who's Chris Hixon?' we can always remember him and always tell that story of what a hero he is,” said Triolo.
Chris's brother says having this fitness center named in his honor is symbolic since Chris, the athletic director at Stoneman Douglas, just finished installing a fitness center there.
“I think the perfect place to have Chris remembered is the PV weight room, perfect place,” said Rick Hixon. “I'm grateful the room's named after him and be forever named Chris Hixon.”
The idea to name the fitness center after Chris Hixon came from Hixon's high school friend who used to be the middle school principal in the district.