Country View Elementary honors student with new solar panel project


WINFIELD, Kan (KSNW) – The sun is shining extra bright in one Kansas town on Thursday as a new solar project commences.

Max Henderson was in second grade when he died in a 2019 horseback riding accident. On Thursday, his Winfield classmates and family remembered what made him so special with the commencement of the Max Sunshine Project.

Ansley McCaslin was one of Max Henderson’s best friends at Country View Elementary. She said it’s important to remember her friend.

“Max was very funny, Max was never not funny,” McCaslin said. “I know a lot of people at the school miss Max a lot.”

The Max Sunshine Project will consist of 96 units of solar panels on top of the elementary school’s barn, all in honor of Max Henderson.

“Anytime you lose somebody when their name is still thrown around it really means the world to us and we love all of these little munchkins like our own so we are just grateful to be a part of their education,” said Missi Henderson, Max’s mother.

The project will allow students to learn science, technology, engineering, and math in a hands-on format, while also collecting electricity for the school.

“It’s allows teachers to teach students in a very concrete way,” said Barry Dicker, the president of Decent Energy INC.

While celebrating Max on Earth Day, students spent the day planting trees and feeding baby calves.

“It’s fun because they love us and we love them and we get to still be a part of them — it’s not like when we lost Max, we lost all of those people, they have just enveloped us,” said Henderson.

Once completed, the project is expected to offset at least 25-percent of the school’s cost and use of electricity. Students will also be able to see firsthand how much power the solar panels make.

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