HOUSTON – Oct. 26, 2018 – Members of the Booker Elementary School family came together on Friday for a special 10th anniversary event that included Spring ISD Board Trustees, Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson, district and campus leaders, former administrators, alumni, current students and parents – all celebrating the important milestone in Booker’s history.
“I want to commend the staff under the leadership of Ms. Keisha Womack for providing continuity and sustaining a culture of excellence at Booker for the past ten years,” said Board President Rhonda Newhouse.
The ceremony included a special recognition of family members of the school’s namesake, Carolee Booker Jordan King. A longtime Spring ISD educator, Booker Jordan King retired in 1987 after spending more than 30 years as a teacher with the district and establishing a legacy in the Spring ISD community that the staff at Booker strives to continue.
That commitment to educating students became obvious during Womack’s message, which included numerous recognitions of current and former staff members and distinguished alumni who attended the event.
“What’s interesting about Booker,” said Womack, “is regardless of who comes and goes, they always come back, and we still resonate with people in such a powerful way that we’re always going to be a family.”
From start to finish, the ceremony prominently featured students – from leading the pledges of allegiance, to introducing the guest speaker, to musical performances by the Booker Percussion Ensemble and Choir.
Guest speaker Rebecca Melendez, a Booker Elementary alumna, credits her success in middle and high school to her time at Booker.
“Since it was my elementary school, I learned pretty much everything that I needed in order to prepare for middle and high school,” said Melendez. “And because of the education I received here, I was 100 percent prepared for anything. Even today in college, I always look back to everything I learned during my years here.”
Booker is part of the “No Excuses” network of schools that believes college readiness starts in elementary school. “We do what it takes for every student, every day, but we don’t do it alone. Our community is huge in helping to build our success and our culture,” Womack said.
A couple of national award winners were also in attendance and recognized for their achievements. Frank Vives, who won the International Bilingual Spelling Bee the year Booker opened in 2008, and Karla Villela, who won the National Bilingual Education Teacher of the Year award in 2010, were both present.
“Booker has done some remarkable things throughout the years and actually won some national and international awards,” said Watson. He thanked Villela for her legacy and for her continued work at the campus, where she now serves as the English Language Learner Coordinator and Parent Engagement Liaison.
Womack, who has been the principal at Booker since it opened its doors, credits the school’s success to the high level of parent engagement she sees from her families. “It’s their school, and I work for them,” Womack said.
Villela echoed that sentiment adding, “Being a part of this community means a lot. The involvement we have here at Booker is 100 percent, we always encourage parents to be part of the education system, because without them we can’t do anything. This is the Booker best,” Villela said.