From one family to another, Educational Outfitters in Harker Heights is reopening under new owners. Sisters Jaime Williams and Melissa Walcik have teamed up to run the store alongside their parents, Eileen and Ron Walcik.
Williams is a former teacher with Killeen ISD and taught pre-K for 24 years. Melissa Walcik has been with KISD for 28 years with experience at both the elementary and middle school level and she is hoping to retire next year. Their mother, Eileen Walcik, also has a long history with the school district as she taught middle school for 34 years in KISD.
“My sister and I have talked about owning our own teacher store for years but we were both teachers. When we saw that Educational Outfitters was closing, I felt that it was the right time to make that change.” Williams said.
The original owners, Cindy Neel Schoel and Randy Schoel retired after running the store for 26 years. The couple posted their retirement announcement on Dec. 18, 2021 on the company’s social media site.
“When we opened our store in 1995, we never imagined how running our small “teachers’ store” could touch us as it has. So many of you have regretted on our closing saying you have depended upon our store,” the post said.
Educational Outfitters provides classroom materials for new teachers who just finished college, as well as seasoned teachers who are looking for new materials to keep their classrooms fresh, fun and interesting. The store also serves parents, guardians, childcare providers, churches and non-profit organizations.
Under the new ownership, the store was originally supposed to reopen this Saturday but had to postpone.
“The fire marshal told us during the inspections that the previous owners were grandfathered in under old codes and since the business was sold, there were things that needed to be updated to fit the new codes,” Williams said. “We are hoping to open on May 21 instead.”
The business is currently preparing to sell the items left in stock from the previous owners as newer stock has yet to come in. The store offers school supplies, decorations and activities for students of all ages, and the owners are working to add more home-schooling materials to the store.
“We really wanted to service that community, especially after COVID-19 hit and many families began home-schooling their children,” Eileen said.
To celebrate the grand reopening, the Walciks will have giveaways and raffle prizes for customers the first day they are open.
Educational Outfitters is located at 400 E. Central Texas Expressway in Harker Heights, and when it opens for business soon, it will be open from 9:30 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday. The store will also be open from 9:30 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and be closed on Sundays.
To learn more about Educational Outfitters and its products, go to edoutfittersonline.com or call 254-698-1614