Written by Staff
1952 – 2013 (give or take a few years in between)
This year I am saying goodbye to the Irving School System. From September 1952, when we moved to Irving from Raleigh, NC, and I enrolled in Shultz (then Called East Ward School) Elementary, until my granddaughter recently graduated from MacArthur High School I have spent many years being involved with Irving Schools.
I was lucky enough to be in the first seventh grade class of the brand new Irving Junior High in 1954 – graduating from there in 9th grade (there were 3 grades in Junior High back then). Then it was on to Irving High until graduating in 1959.
My siblings were enrolled then in Paul Keyes Elementary, Crockett Junior High and the new Irving High School on O’Connor Road until my youngest sister graduated in 1979, and I often attended open houses, concerts, etc.
There were 10 years of no school involvement until my oldest daughter was enrolled in Barton Elementary in 1969, followed by my other two daughters in 1973and 1977. All three girls continued on though Crockett Junior High and Irving High, until my youngest graduated from Irving High in 1991. During those years, I was even more involved with the schools – being a room mother, band parent, and even working as a teacher’s aide at Barton Elementary for a year.
In 2000, my oldest granddaughter enrolled in kindergarten at Thomas Haley Elementary, then on to Sam Houston Junior High and into MacArthur High, providing me with 13 more years of following the Irving Schools programs and activities. Her recent graduation has put an end to my many years of involvement with the Irving Schools.
I must say that thing have changes dramatically – from 3 elementary schools, one junior and one senior high school in the early 1950’s, to 4 high schools, 1 career center, 8 middle schools, 20 elementary schools, 3 early childhood centers plus 4 special learning centers today. The population of Irving when we moved here was around 2,000, and now is over 200,000. With so many students today, the schools have had to make significant changes to accommodate the various ethnic groups, life styles, and major increase in population numbers.
We started out using pencils, ink pens, lined notebook paper, slide rules, and book bags with most assignments written on chalk boards or passed out on mimeographed papers. Today’s work is done mostly on computers – using dry erase boards and video technology as teaching tools, with back packs being the chief method of carrying supplies around. Teachers still have a challenging job and much more record keeping than in the old days.
I have enjoyed all the years I have spent with Irving Schools and hope in the future the system will continue to grow and improve to meet all the students’ needs in the ever changing world of education
Nancy Dillon Block
Irving High Class of 1959