Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New school year heralds 50-year celebrations in Spring Branch ISD

Fiftieth anniversaries will be celebrated at three Spring Branch ISD campuses in the months ahead. Now marking 50 years are Spring Woods High School, Memorial Middle School and Westwood Elementary.

Students, staff and alumni at Spring Woods High School began preparing early for a great 50th year with a student poster contest and calendar planning that includes at least one theme event every nine weeks. Proceeds from ticketed events and activities will fund scholarships for Class of 2014 Tiger graduates.

Senior Lorelei Shannon credits her winning 50th anniversary poster submission on a failed effort years ago to sign up for volleyball. Instead, she enrolled in a digital graphics class, and from that moment her budding interest in art as a career has buoyed her on and carried her forward.

“I was definitely surprised to hear that I had won,” Lorelei said. “It’s exciting, and something I’m proud to be a part of. I did not know before this contest that the school was as old as it is.” Lorelei received a $75 Amazon gift card for her winning poster idea.

In her poster, a green-eyed tiger pops through an orange numeral 50. Below it states, “Spring Woods High School: Celebrating 50 Years of Tiger Pride.”

The poster’s top headline, “R.O.A.R. to Excellence,” reflects the school’s four main points of Tiger pride – Respectful/Responsible; On-Time/On-Task; Accountable; and Ready for Post-Secondary Success. The high school’s new principal this year is Jennifer Parker.

A cartoonist like her older brother for the school newspaper, The Regit, Lorelei hopes to attend Savannah College of Art and Design. Her interests run from “art painting to graphic designs to comics.” She hand paints white canvas shoes through an online hobby site, charging up to $90 per shoe order. She fills worldwide orders for her painted shoes.

Spring Woods High’s 50th anniversary plan will include at least one major event every grading period. Momentum will build this fall with pre-game tailgating activities at Tully Stadium. The parade’s floats will reflect each decade. Alumni and Tiger supporters are encouraged to join in.

Other 50th activities include a ticketed Performing Arts Alumni Cabaret Show in December, an alumni “Golden Apple” Luncheon in February 2014 with U.S. Congressman Ted Poe, a Spring Woods High graduate, and a school-wide 50th Birthday Party and Picnic next May.

Organizers hope to set a new Guinness World Record during the end-of-year party and picnic by collecting in one spot the most stuffed tigers ever. All the stuffed animals will be donated to Texas Children’s Hospital, says organizer and school theater department chair Anne Yancey.

“We hope to set a world record. We are asking people to bring us their stuffed tigers. We’ll find a place to store them between now and then,” she said.

Event planners worked hard last spring to develop a plan that includes open and ticketed events, highlights separate groups in the Spring Woods High family with each event, and directs dollars donated and ticket funds raised to a scholarship fund for the Class of 2014.

At Memorial Middle, meanwhile, organizers are still finalizing plans for the school anniversary. At this time, a special event or activity may highlight past principals and staff members. A time capsule from a previous class buried on the school grounds might be located and dug up, too.

Memorial Middle’s PTA plans to present the school with a bronze eagle for permanent display. A separate assembly may be conducted. Memorial Middle’s principal is Lisa Weir.

At Westwood Elementary, staff proudly wears t-shirts that proclaim: “Celebrating 50 Years of Learning.”

Westwood’s anniversary t-shirts and posters also state the following: “The past 50 years has taught us that our WWE family is built on the foundation that every minute is an excellent opportunity to learn about, with, and from each other.” School principal is Kay Kennard.


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