Art Freiler Elementary School opened in July of 2001 as a K-8 year round Science and Technology magnet school. Our school is named after an outstanding educator, Mr. Art Freiler. Mr. Freiler came to Tracy from Dinuba, CA, where he taught Physical Education for 14 years. In 1963, he began in the Tracy Unified School District at Senior Elementary School, later known as Clover Middle School, where he taught for 23 years and never missed a day of work. Mr. Freiler served in the Navy from 1942 - 1946. Originally a native of Lansdale, PA, Mr. Freiler came to California in 1949 after serving his country during World War II. Throughout his career he coached cross country, swimming and several other sports and was an avid runner. He ran alongside his students daily and loved to keep them motivated to come to school. He ran competitively up until the age of 70, when he decided he could not run three miles in less than an hour as he used to do. He ran two to three miles, three times a week, up until the age of 82. He enjoyed coaching students and encouraging them to participate in various sports. He stressed participation over winning. He organized after school intramural sports and spent over 20 years doing what he did best - teaching youth about as many different sports as he could on a recreational level. He retired in 1985 after 36 years of service to the state of California. Mr. Freiler's birthday was February 3, 1925.
Mr. Freiler not only contributed to his community with the youth, he also participated in Easter Seals, Red Cross, Heart Association, and multiple charitable events with his wife, Charlotte, who suffered from muscular dystrophy. He raised pledges and organized walks and jog-a-thons while pushing his wife’s wheelchair showing his support. He contributed his overall fitness to his love for running and staying active. Mr. Freiler had three children, Bruce, David, and Lori along with six grandchildren. He lost his loving wife on October 30, 2013. He brought her often to Art Freiler School to participate in our annual Thanksgiving feast, enjoying a meal with students. Back when the school was built, Mr. Freiler often stopped by on his runs to see the progress and admire the newest buildings as they came to be. He was able to see the building of the campus from the beginning to the end.
Mr. Freiler visited our school often and loved interacting with the students about his early days or about coming to school every day sharing his quotes that he is famous for such as, “Don’t stand there too long you may kill the grass” or “Do the best you can, with what you got.” Being that he never missed a day of work over his entire career, we at Art Freiler School take attendance very seriously and reiterate his pledge to his commitment to education. Today, we recognize our student’s attendance with banner parties and assemblies where each student is recognized with a certificate and pin for their outstanding dedication to making coming to school each day a priority.
Mr. Freiler also enjoyed eating lunch with our students at the Character Counts table, where he praised the students for their hard work and ability to uphold the pillars of character. He shared his stories with them about his world travels and came to visit the classrooms to show off his pictures and artifacts from his adventurous travels. The students found his life interesting and very lively as he shared with them his thoughts about treating others to how he enjoyed seeing the students’ energy and positive behavior whenever he visited. Mr. Freiler attended every promotion ceremony we had and waved as he was recognized to the audience full of pride as he knew his school’s namesake was something he took great pride in. He was a wonderful role model for our students here at Freiler. We were proud to honor him and to have his school as a namesake. In the words of Mr. Art Freiler, “The school will be as successful for many years to come, as it is now.”
In 2015, Mr. Freiler celebrated his 90th birthday visiting our students and enjoying a special lunchtime assembly (picture below. Mr. Freiler passed away on August 22, 2016. A landscaped area near the office "Mr. Freiler's Corner" was dedicated in his honor with a granite marker in September.