February 14th, 2020 marks the heartbreaking 2-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida mass high-school shooting and we wanted to share a celebratory story that has come out of this tragedy. 27-year-U.S.-Navy veteran Chris Hixon, who served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield, sacrificed his life on February 14, 2018, when the athletic director and wrestling coach ran into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and tried to save the lives of students by disarming an active shooter. Hixon is survived by his wife Debbi and their two sons, Thomas and Corey. The cast and crew from Military Makeover with Montel Williams, with special guest and veteran WWE Superstar Lacey Evans surprised Debbi with a complete home makeover.
Tinseltown Mom connected with Debbi, a 31-year Nationally Board-Certified Broward County public school teacher, about her surprise home renovation and we learned that she was also running for the Broward County School Board. The mom of two shared her inspiration behind the run. “The countywide seat will be vacant as the incumbent is running for another political position and I felt that I was very qualified for this seat and I am passionate about making positive changes that are needed in our school system,” Hixon tells Tinseltown Mom.
Hixon continues. “I think teachers need to be valued better, both financially and being included in the discussion for new initiatives that are introduced into the classroom as well as their professional training. I also believe we must improve the communication with our communities about what is happening in our schools. Safety and security are also part of my vision, we must secure the perimeters of our schools to keep everyone safe inside, and we must be sure our buildings are healthy so that students and staff do not lose precious teaching time due to illnesses from mold and deteriorating buildings.”
Hixon, who lives in Hollywood, Florida with her special-needs son Corey, received a complete home makeover and it couldn’t have come at a better time. She was in the process of trying to get quotes from contractors for redoing her kitchen and backyard but found it difficult to find contractors that would do the job when Lori Wheeler and Phil Purcell from Marine Industries Association of South Florida nominated her family to receive a special home makeover.
Her older son Tom is looking forward to seeing the renovated home when he visits this month and Corey loves the results. “…He asked if his room could be done like a church and they did an amazing job incorporating everything he was hoping for into his church room… …The house is the same house I have lived in my entire life so the ‘before’ is lived in and patchy as Chris and I did a lot of renovations over the 28 years we lived in the house together. After, you can expect to see a beautiful house that is consistent throughout and has the feel of a beach house. It is modern and airy, and it is filled with many beautiful memories of our family.”
So, what were some of Hixon’s favorite changes? “I love the new flagpole that flies the US and Navy flags. The kitchen is awesome! I also really like my new fireplace, it glows without blowing heat, so I love to sit in the living room and just watch the fire glow, it is so peaceful. The backyard is like an oasis and so inviting. I also really like my new closet in my bedroom…”
Debbi also wanted to be sure to keep Chris’s memory alive in the house. Montel Williams and his team amazed her by dedicating two walls to Chris, one in the den area and one in their bedroom. “…It was a surprise, but I did ask them to keep Chris in the house, I wanted to be sure he still has a presence here. They did an awesome job, more than I could have expected, he is everywhere, some places are obvious, and others are subtle. I feel him everywhere…”
If you want to keep up with Hixon and her run for the Broward School Board be sure to visit her at https://debbihixon.wixsite.com/broward
The new season of Military Makeover with Montel airs on February 14th at 7:30 am EST, the second-year anniversary of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stone Douglas High School. All aired episodes can be found at militarymakeover.tv