Happy 70th Birthday Becker Elementary

AISD Becker Elementary Mayor Will Wynn signed the proclamation: October 20, 2006 is officially Becker Elementary School day. The neighborhood school, built on the site of the former Bouldin mansion, celebrates its 70th anniversary this year despite efforts by AISD Superintendent Pat Forgione to close it last March. Forgione was present at today’s ceremony and, although not on the program, stood up to say a few words. They did not seem specific to the occasion–merely a “Let’s all work together to make Austin schools great.”–which came off as a slap in the face to the parents, teachers, staff, and Bouldin neighborhood association members who are all working hard to keep our school the center of our community.

In stark contrast City Council Member Lee Leffingwell, a Becker Elementary School alumnus, said what the crowd wanted to hear: if we are going to build a vibrant livable city center then we need schools like Becker. Why build schools out in the suburbs that we have to bus kids to? And why, I personally want to know, has my polling place been moved from Becker (where I could walk to it) someplace else where I must drive to vote?

Under a cloudless sky, the children recited the Pledge of Allegiance (in English and Spanish). The Travis High School band played the national anthem. Visiting dignitaries gave their speeches while the students tried to keep still. The Travis High School Mariachi band serenaded “Happy Birthday” as blue and gold balloons soared skyward. Then one spirited second grader led the school cheer and cake was served. Tours of the school and of the Green Classroom next door followed.

Happy Birthday, Becker Elementary. And many more.

The celebration continues Saturday, October 21, 2006. Stop by 906 W. Milton from 4PM-8PM and see why our Bouldin neighborhood is more than just an overflow parking lot for Zilker Park concerts.

2 Comments so far

  1. Annie In Austin (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2006 @ 12:00 am

    Congratulations to the Bouldin Neighborhood on 70 years of Becker School. That’s a pretty impressive number for a school to reach! Is this the actual original building, MSS?
    My family can’t drive past any of our old elementary schools – they’ve been knocked down for tollways, phased out, or turned into storage buildings. One was demolished, but a new building was constructed on another part of the site, so the school tradition exists, surrounded by new walls.

    Annie the Garden Blogger

  2. mss (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2006 @ 8:52 pm

    Part of the current building is the original six classrooms that went up in 1936, the year Becker opened. The first addition in 1939 included ten new classrooms and the library. More additions followed in 1947, 1964, and 1972.

    My dad was in the military so I’ve never seen any of the many schools I attended again, either. However, when we were living on the east side of Congress Ave, my son attended Travis Heights Elementary every year save the fifth grade, when he went to Kamegawa Elementary School in Beppu City, Japan.

    Elementary schools if Japan are real community centers. It was not unusual to have three generations of the same family attend the same school and to go together to cheer on the current generation at the Fall Sports Day (called undokai) every year.

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