The community came out by the hundreds Saturday to help celebrate Lakeview Elementary School’s 100th birthday.
Being there brought back childhood remembrances of neighborhood parties for groups of people larger than a family, yet representing family in so many ways. The younger and more mature of the area exchanged generational stories at the festive event. Andrew “Buddy” Blair, 89, accompanied by his daughter, Ann Finley, who live on Main Street, and 90-year-old Sophia Morales, a 1920 Lakeview Elementary School alum, accompanied by her daughter, Beatrice Salinas, were among the many eager to tell their cherished stories.
“All roads lead to Lakeview Elementary School,” said Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Charles Dupre.
The carnival, food, games, antique car show, the smell of the spring air gusts on an idyllic and somewhat overcast day, and the fresh cut grass aroma of the outdoor festivities was all about wholesome Americana local charm. An everlasting remembrance of this event has been mentally etched as have been the stories recalled by those sharing them.
The formal observance, launched by the school’s principal Alena McClanahan, was held in the school campus’ soon-to-be celebrated Lakeview Auditorium, a full house for the centennial occasion. This campus, by the way, started out as a two-room schoolhouse, was once known as Sugar Land High School and Sugar Land Elementary School before joining FBISD in 1959. As Lakeview Elementary School, it currently serves over 500 students. As for the auditorium, which has undergone extensive renovation, City Councilmember Bridget Yeung, a founding member of the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation, said it is the only remaining building of the original campus. There’s a new future in the making underway for the Lakeview Elementary School campus and it’s currently on the drawing board of the school district’s master planning effort.
Community notables participating in the centennial festivities and ceremony along with Dupre, were former FBISD superintendent Betty Baitland (2002 – 2007), Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman, who presented a proclamation and was accompanied by the city’s first lady, Nancy; Fort Bend County Attorney Roy Cordes Jr. and his mother, Betty Cordes, wife of foremr Sugar Land Mayor Roy L. Cordes Sr. (1973 – 1980); career educator and Fort Bend County Commissioner James Patterson; and long-time Fort Bend educator, principal and retired school board member Rita Drabek.
State Rep. Ron Reynolds also joined FBISD board members Grayle James, whose children attended Lakeview Elementary School and she served as a ceremony speaker; and KP George; former school official Nancy Porter; dedicated career educators Carolyn and Vernon Madden; and city council members Steve Porter, Mary Joyce and Carol McCutcheon among the many others celebrating the school campus’ 100 year milestone.