On a Sad Anniversary, New Signs of the Bond between Dell City ISD and Trooper Mike Schulze
March 29 marked the year anniversary of the passing of DPS Trooper Mike Schulze, but the connection between “Mountain Mike” and the Dell City School, and the Dell City community, continues to deepen. The signs can be seen around our Valley.
Trooper Schulze was the school's resource officer, and a devoted advocate for the safety and security of Cougar students and staff. In his 17 years based at Pine Springs, Mike made a deep impression across the region, as a one-of-a-kind lawman who combined courage and a commitment to public safety with a human touch. He passed away March 29, 2021, after a short battle with cancer.
The Dell City School's football field was renamed in his honor, and on the recent anniversary of his death, the district took other steps to memorialize him. Two miles of Hwy 62/180 have been adopted by Dell City ISD in honor of Mike and his family. The signs can be seen one mile west, and one mile east, of Dell Junction.
“I thought it would be a good way to remember Mr. Schulze,” Dell City ISD Supt. Carlos A. Contreras said.
Contreras said the area around the junction seemed like the right place to adopt – as people from outside the area often leave trash there, and the junction reflects on Dell City.
Under the adopt-a-highway program, the school will be responsible for conducting four cleanups a year. The Texas Department of Transportation will provide safety vests, garbage bags and other supplies for school staff and students. Supt. Contreras said Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West, and DPS Sgt. Eric Lopez, in Van Horn, have both offered to send officers to assist with traffic control and safety during cleanups. Contreras said the first cleanup will happen shortly before or shortly after graduation.
Also on the anniversary of Mike's passing, the district took time to clean up and weed at Mike's gravesite, and to place stones in the form of a cross, and potted plants in his honor.
And – Mike's legacy continues to make an impact for Dell City students.
Mike's love for the school ran deep, and after his diagnosis, he made it clear that he wanted to bequeath money to the school. The first donation, received shortly after his passing, has already been put to use – in completing long-needed improvements to the elementary student restrooms. And a second project is now in the works.
Lisa Schulze, Mike's widow, and Mike's parents and family have also adopted a stretch of highway in Mike's honor – near Guadalupe Pass. Family, friends and law officers came together March 29 for a cleanup there. After that effort, Lisa and Mike's parents joined Supt. Contreras for a tour of the Dell City School. And they agreed that a second donation will be used to make improvements to the dressing rooms used by Cougar boys and girls student-athletes.
The lasting affection for Trooper Schulze, and his lasting impact, are testaments to a life well-lived.