Heavy storms were threatening, but some still weathered the weather to celebrate Goose Creek CISD turning 100.
Some of the district’s former students and teachers came out to commemorate the district’s 100th anniversary and share their memories.
Mary Jane Ethridge was a teacher at Stephen F. Austin Elementary.
“I was born here and my mother was born here,” Ethridge said. “I love it. I taught school 30 years here, and I love Baytown and love Goose Creek.”
Ethridge said the best thing about the school district was the people working in it.
“We have great teachers in this district and wonderful people that care,” Ethridge said. “It is a very hometown place. I like the fact I can go to places like this and see my 30-, 40- and 50-year-old students. It is good to see them and how they turned out.”
Brenda Clem, wife of Goose Creek CISD Trustee Richard Clem, is also a product of the Goose Creek schools. She went to Ashbel Smith Elementary, James Bowie Elementary and Mirabeau B. Lamar Elementary. She also went to Horace Mann Junior School and graduated from Robert E. Lee High School, where she was in the choir as well as the theater department. After teaching for a while in Dallas and Longview, she came back to Baytown and taught here for 36 years.
Although Clem retired in 2010, she began tutoring in 2011 and continues to tutor at William B. Travis Elementary two to three days a week.
Clem says the people are the main ingredient of Goose Creek CISD’s success.
“We have a lot of new people here, but Baytown has a rich foundation of people who have been here all of their lives,” Clem said.
Superintendent Dr. Randal O’Brien welcomed everyone to the 100-year anniversary celebration.
“Remember what you were doing in 1919? Maybe you weren’t doing anything, but we were coming back from World War I and America was recovering from a war,” O’Brien said. “Our economy was about to resurge and a couple of companies were born in Baytown. One was Humble Oil, which is now ExxonMobil, and in the Houston area, Houston Methodist Hospital was getting started. With all of the population moving from the Houston area east, there was a call for a school district to be born. In 1919, Goose Creek was born and we are here today to honor that.”
O’Brien said he and the others at the district want to continue bringing the best they can to everyone in the area.
“We are proud to serve our community as a school district and want to continue to be innovative and better serve you,” he said.
Mayor Brandon Capetillo read a proclamation making April 13, 2019 Goose Creek CISD Day.
“I am honored to be here today,” Capetillo said. “As a citizen and a graduate of Robert E. Lee, Goose Creek for many years has always been a big part of everything we do. Not many districts have 100 years under their belt, but for Goose Creek, we have that here today.”
Will Carter from Congressman Dr. Brian Babin’s office read a Congressional record also declaring the day in honor of Goose Creek CISD. Hector Morales from Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s office read a similar proclamation.
“Thank you for allowing us to move forward another 100 years,” O’Brien said.