One of the hallmarks of Reynolds Elementary School is the courtyard, filled with large trees. A new addition – small now, but growing every day – is an oak tree, recently planted in honor of the school’s namesake, Pat Reynolds, who passed away in February.
The new tree was planted there and surrounded by a trio of benches, as well as small statues of armadillos, the school’s mascot, to commemorate Pat Reynolds Day, held each year at the campus on Reynolds’ birthday. The celebration of life was held in the school cafeteria and meant as a way to memorialize the lifelong educator.
“I was always in awe of her joyful manner and her overall graciousness,” current principal Dr. Angeles Perez said. “As we pay tribute to Pat Reynolds today, it is that humor and spirit that I remember the most.”
Reynolds served as principal of what was then called Oak Creek Elementary for more than two and half decades.
Family members, former and current teachers and staff, community members, and Spring ISD administrators gathered on her birthday, April 25, to celebrate Reynolds and her legacy at both the school and the district as a whole.
“She is truly one of our Spring ISD heroes, who left a big mark not just here on the campus that now bears her name, but on our district as a whole,” Superintendent Dr. Lupita Hinjosa said. “She led with integrity, compassion, innovative creativity, and a great sense of humor.”
During the celebration, current students from Reynolds Elementary served as emcees, while many shared their memories of Reynolds and her time with Spring ISD. The second grade choir also performed the school’s fight song, “The Armadillo Song,” as well as “Blue Skies,” a song once performed by one of Reynolds’ favorite artists, Willie Nelson.
It was a fitting tribute to a woman who continues to influence the school that bears her name.
“Just as her name will always be on the front of this school, her name and legacy will always provide a foundation of excellence, hard work, creativity, and passion for Reynolds Elementary School students and teachers,” Winford Adams, Jr., Spring ISD Board of Trustees vice president, said.
During her career, Reynolds was especially dedicated to promoting literacy. Along with the oak tree planted in her memory, the school also installed a Book Nook in the library, with specially selected books for students to check out. In addition, every single student at Reynolds went home with a brand new book, inscribed with a special encouraging message in the spirit of Reynolds.
“Literacy grows on,” Dr. Perez said. “And it continues to grow on in her memory.”