Spring ISD History by the Decades
Thirty children in the Bammel community were being taught by one teacher in a building donated by a Mr. Harrell. When the school building burned, it was rebuilt with the help of men from Spring. In 1900, a single room school was built on the Bender estate, and was moved the next year up to Spring.
In 1912 the Missouri Pacific Railroad moved to Spring. Two new schools were built on Aldine-Westfield and Hardy Street to handle the increase in students. These two schools consolidated and a new building was built in Spring on the old Sellers estate, across the tracks on Aldine-Westfield. In 1918, this building was moved, and a new two-story, eight-room brick building was built in its place.
Hard times fell on Spring. The Missouri Pacific Railroad moved its roundhouse to Houston, taking with it many employees. The move almost destroyed the town, with once thriving businesses being closed. The school was hit particularly hard. The PTA stepped in one year and raised money necessary to pay the teachers to the end of the year.
The push for accreditation was under way, directed by Superintendent James H. Goettee. Accreditation was granted in 1935 when the school added science and foreign language, and the eleventh grade. No longer were students graduating in the tenth grade required to take a year of pre-college before they were considered college freshmen. Now they could directly enter college.
Consolidation brought together the Spring and Harrell schools, and two schools that served the black communities – Clow Elementary, and Spring Elementary and Junior High, later called Southwell.
In 1939 Superintendent Goettee accepted a position with the Houston School District. Willard Frandolig was superintendent for one year before going to another position. John A. Winship then served as superintendent until his death in 1973. The Wunsche family donated 13 acres to the district in 1937 for a new school, with the stipulation that it be named for their ancestor, Carl Wunsche Sr.. It was completed in 1939. The Aldine-Westfield building served as an elementary school for many years, housing the children from Spring and Bammel.
The war took its toll on Spring. Teachers, money and teaching supplies were scarce. Even students were few in 1945, with only two in the graduating class. In 1947 an addition housing elementary students was made to Wunsche High School. The old Aldine-Westfield building was bought by M.R. Duce. The building was later torn down after finding the cost of renovation to be too high. The old foundation still remains.
In 1951 the Southwell school burned and was replaced by a brick structure. B.F. Clark was principal there from 1951 until the schools were completely integrated in 1966. According to available records, Spring ISD started electing its Board of Trustees to specific positions, possibly making the District one of the earliest in Texas to do so. Spring Elementary was built on adjoining property to Wunsche High in 1959.
Spring ISD integrated its high school students in 1964. Until this time, eleventh and twelfth grade African American students were transferred to Carver High School in Aldine ISD, because the teachers and facilities needed to teach them in Spring were not available. Integration was completed in 1966. Southwell continued to be retained by the District, but was later sold to the county for conversion into a community center. Bammel Elementary School was built in 1965, giving the west side of the District its first school since consolidation in 1935. Spring High School was built in 1969 to meet the booming growth beginning to affect the area.
Rapid expansion around the FM 1960 area necessitated the construction of ten new schools during the 1970s. The innovative move to open-concept classrooms was made by administrators and the Board of Trustees in the early 1970s. They determined that schools with a minimum of interior walls would most economically accommodate the educational program of a rapidly growing district. Late in the 1970s when families moving into the district expressed concern over whether the open concept idea was the best choice for Spring ISD, changes were made toward another concept referred to as flexible space.
Dr. Joseph S. Beneke joined the district in 1970 as director of curriculum and instruction, was named assistant superintendent in 1971 and served as superintendent from 1973 to 1980.
Using the flexible space concept, unveiled in the 1983-84 school year, demountable partitions of metal and glass were placed inside schools, separating grade levels in elementary schools and subject areas in secondary buildings. Five more schools were constructed in the 1980s.
Dr. Gordon M. Anderson became superintendent in 1981.
In 1982 the Board of Trustees adopted an educational philosophy, a five-year educational plan, a planning and management system and a statement of commitments, understandings and expectations, which providing clear direction for the district and creating an atmosphere for achievement.
The Association of School Business Officials awarded the District a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for fiscal year 1983, the third such award for its comprehensive annual financial report. A Certificate of Conformance in Financial Reporting for 1981-82 was awarded by the Municipal Finance Officers Association. Spring ISD was one of only eight school districts in Texas to receive this award.
Computers were introduced as an instructional tool into the mathematics curriculum in kindergarten through twelfth grades in 1982-83. The Pyramid Program for academically able students was begun in 1984-85.
Construction slowed in the 1990s with only two schools and a show barn being constructed. An addition was constructed at Westfield High School to meet the growing secondary school enrollment in the southwestern portion of the district.
The Spring ISD Police Department was implemented in 1990 to enhance the safety and security of students and staff. A few years later, in 1993, the Spring ISD Education Foundation was established to benefit the students and teachers of the District. The Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is a collaborative effort that includes local business, community, and educational leaders.
Dr. Gordon Anderson retired, and Dr. John Folks became superintendent in 1997.
Dr. Michael Hinojosa was superintendent from 2002 until 2005. Dr. Ralph H. Draper became superintendent in 2005.
Rapid growth made it necessary to construct new schools districtwide. Bond referendums were approved by voters in 2001, 2003 and 2007. Forty-four building projects were completed, including 18 new schools and numerous campus renovations. A new building was constructed on the original Wunsche site to house the Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, a nationally recognized model career academy. A nontraditional, middle school of choice, Dr. Edward Roberson Middle School, was opened for students who are interested in math, science and the fine arts. The Spring ISD Virtual School began serving students who benefit from the flexible schedule provided by online learning.
In 2008, the Board of Trustees approved the following vision: By 2015, Spring Independent School District will be recognized nationally as a leader among learning organizations and known for exemplary student achievement.
Construction was completed on Gloria Marshall Elementary School, and the district’s first “green” campus opened in August 2011 as the first school in Houston to use geothermal heating and cooling.
In 2014, Dr. Rodney E. Watson became superintendent. He immediately began a 10-month, strategic planning process that included listening to the community, auditing the district’s processes, reorganizing the leadership structure and establishing new leadership. His first year culminated in the launch of EVERY CHILD 2020, a student-centered, five-year strategic plan that encompasses initiatives that focus on reaching every child, excellence in every school, high performance from every employee, opportunities and choice for every family and engaged stakeholders in every community.
Focused on using its resources to support student learning, the District made the decision to repurpose the Support Services Center, located on Richey Rd., to house the district’s new in-house Disciplinary Alternative Education Program (DAEP). The District opened Richey Academy in September 2015 with the capacity to serve up to 250 middle and high school students.
Additionally, the District purchased One Park Centre, an office building located at 14450 T.C. Jester. Plans are underway for renovating the facility to open in August 2016 as the new location of the Early College Academy.
The information in Spring ISD History by the Decades was found in documents located in the Spring ISD history archives.