Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: K-8 Schools

The prompt for Week 44 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is Elementary School.

Describe your grammar/elementary school (or schools). Were they big or small? Are any of these schools still in existence today? If so, how have they changed since you went there?

Except for kindergarten, I went to Catholic schools, which generally go through grade 8, so that's what this post will cover.  I went to three schools:  Ridgecrest Elementary, a public school, for kindergarten; St. Jerome School for first grade, and St. Francis de Sales School for second through eighth grades, all in Houston, Texas.We lived in the Spring Branch area of Houston when I was in kindergarten and first grade. St. Jerome, our parish, did not have a kindergarten in 1962 (the school had just opened that year), so I went to public school. I don't remember much about Ridgecrest, except that it was close to home. According to the Spring Branch ISD website, Ridgecrest was built in 1953 and replaced in 2009-2010.  My kindergarten teacher was Mrs. Knott, I got to wear a lot of dresses my mother made, I learned to tie my shoes there, and got to take naps.

My first grade teacher at St. Jerome was Mrs. Rose Jackson.  I learned to read, write, and spell with the "Spalding Method" (The Writing Road to Reading, by Romalda Bishop Spalding).  I also remember the death of John F. Kennedy being announced in class.  St. Jerome School still exists today, but I'm not sure what has changed there.

In the summer of 1964, my family moved from Spring Branch to Sharpstown, just a few blocks from St. Francis de Sales.  This was also a new school, opening that year.  I have many great memories of my years here, which I've written about in previous posts.  I still contribute money to the school and receive the Valiant Voice newsletters for alumni.  I've bought books for the library at the annual school book fair (via e-mail with the librarian), and there are still book plates on books in the school that I bought and donated back in the 60s.  At least, there were during my last visit in 2004.

The school has changed some since I graduated and moved away from Houston.  A new church was built, and the old church became the gym and parish center.  It was interesting to read that the office area was recently revamped to look more like it did back in 1960.  The neighborhood too has changed, and the school is more diverse.

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.


  1. I don't believe you! That's not you, it's Diane!

  2. Love them! I need to get all mine in order and do a collage...however I can't figure out some of the years/order! GREAT post (as always!)