As attendees at Thompson Elementary School’s 25th anniversary finished their barbecue dinner, students from the school’s honor choir walked onstage to perform for the first time in almost two years.
The honor choir has not been able to perform due to the pandemic, but the school’s 25th anniversary —along with a program that featured the school’s namesake, Deloras Thompson, as well as Spring ISD board members and Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson— called for a return, with the choir singing two holiday classics to the 75 or so people in attendance.
“Everyone in this room shares one thing: a belief in public education and a dedication to making sure our kids get the best possible education available to them,” Watson told those gathered for the celebration. “Thompson Elementary has been providing opportunity, support, and encouragement for each and every student that walks through these doors, for 25 years.”
Along with the choir’s performance, the anniversary program featured several other speakers from throughout the school’s history, including Thompson Elementary’s first principal Renee Coleman, Board President Rhonda Newhouse, current Thompson principal DeMonica Amerson, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (who called into the program from Washington, DC) and Deloras Thompson herself.
“It was an honor, those 25 years ago, to get this recognition,” Thompson said. “And even all these years later, this school is looking incredible and has continued to serve the community around it.”
She then went on to point out that the large wooden square with the school name on it hanging near the entrance of the school is the actual center court from the original Spring High School gym, where a fresh-out-of-college Thompson taught girls athletics as part of her first teaching job.
And 25 years later, the sign still greets students to school every day.
“For two generations now, students have walked through those doors on the first step of their education journey. The first students who walked through those doors in 1996 are now giving back to their own communities, many right here in Spring,” Newhouse said. “And that is something to celebrate.”
Olus Holder, executive pastor of neighboring Fallbrook Church, said that while 25 years of Thompson Elementary is certainly something to celebrate, it is only the beginning of the school’s legacy.
“May we continue to celebrate Thompson Elementary and its impact on this community,” Holder said. “And for the next 25 years, and the 25 years after that, and the 25 years after that.”