HOUSTON – Jan. 30, 2020 – The cafeteria at Anderson Elementary School stood packed with current and past administrators, teachers, students, alumni and Spring ISD Board Trustees on Jan. 24 ready to celebrate the school’s 40th anniversary and its rich history within the district.
Anderson Elementary first opened its doors in 1979 and was the ninth elementary school in Spring ISD. The school was named in honor of George E. Anderson, who served on the Spring ISD Board of Trustees for nine years, including five as board president. Anderson himself was known as a true believer in public education and a strong advocate for students and Spring ISD.
Kristin Falcon, who serves as the current principal at Anderson, opened the ceremony with a heartfelt story about her personal experience at the campus. Falcon, who attended the school one year after it opened, told the audience her journey began as a kindergartner.
“As a student at Anderson Elementary, I learned so many things,” said Falcon. “Not just how to read, write, and count, although I am thankful every day for the great academic foundation I gained here. Fast forward to today, and I am blessed to be the principal here at Anderson, a school where now about 25 percent of our students speak a language other than English at home.”
Spring ISD Board of Trustees president Rhonda Newhouse shared her appreciation for the school and Principal Falcon, thanking her for being a part of Anderson’s special history and its bright future.
“It’s a wonderful tribute to your school community that your principal spent her elementary years here at Anderson and then came back to make it her home as an educator,” said Newhouse. “That tells me that Anderson is more than a school. It’s a place where students and staff are able to learn and grow together to build a positive environment where everyone feels welcome.”
During the ceremony, members of the Anderson Elementary family highlighted school traditions and recognized the important role that community support has played in the school’s success.
“Today, as we celebrate Anderson’s 40 years of history, let’s pay tribute to all of the educators and students who have filled this building over the past four decades,” said Spring ISD Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson. “We would not be here today without you.”
A special screening of a video compilation of former students, staff and administrators was also shown during the event where they shared personal stories while at Anderson.
“A couple of things I’ll remember are the teachers and how they always try to stay on the positive side of things,” said 5th grader Flor Palma. “All the teachers and staff are very kind and they do whatever they can to help students have the best education they can have. I have learned many important things at Anderson like reading, writing, adding, subtraction and multiplication, but there are things – not just education – but life skills that I’ve learned.”
Former Anderson principal Kathy Morrison also attended the ceremony and shared her favorite memories as an administrator and the long-lasting friendships she developed with other educators from the school
“Anderson has always been a true neighborhood school in a safe, warm and unconditionally open gathering place for our students and their families,” said Morrison. “It comes from its unwavering history of exceptionally hard working, caring and talented staff who have loved and embraced every Gator while also giving them the tools necessary to develop character, become leaders and excel academically.”
Every student also stood and sang two musical numbers during the program, which received a standing ovation from the audience of about 100 guests.
John Lopez, who serves as the PTO president and volunteer basketball coach at Anderson, spoke proudly of his three children who attend the school and his love for the Gator community. Lopez says the first thing that makes Anderson special is the welcoming culture of the school.
“The students and staff at Anderson are a huge part of making Anderson so special,” said Lopez. “When I walk down the hall and hear someone say, ‘Hey Mr. Lopez’ or ‘Coach’ with a smile across their face, it instantly takes away any worries of the day.”
The program ended with a special mural presentation at the campus – a result of a collaboration between Anderson students Christopher Mulato, Gabby Armstrong and Brayden Russell and Houston artists Michael C. Rodriguez and Christina Tovar. The mural was funded thanks to donations from students, staff members, Anderson PTO and community partner McDonald’s, which is located at 1914 Aldine Bender and operated by Kim Elizondo.