|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - February 2011
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
THC: Goodrich school to get historical marker
BY VALERIE REDDELL
GOODRICH — The Texas Historical Commission notified Goodrich Independent School District Feb. 2 that its request for a state historical marker designation has been approved, according to project leader Sherrie Kephart. THC’s recognition for the historic landmark designation includes the original high school wing built in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the original elementary wing (1937) and original central auditorium (1935). Kephart and Barbara Westmoreland of the Polk County Historical Commission are working to complete final documentation and raise the marker fee of $750 by March 17. Throughout the 75-year history, Goodrich school administrators have preserved the historic architectural features of the original buildings. The one major concession has been lowering ceilings when air-conditioning was added to the campus. Superintendent Dr. Guylene Robertson said student pride has been a key ingredient to the school remaining in good condition throughout the decades. Staff and students also acknowledge the campus’ role as the heart of the community. The district was featured in the August 2009 edition of Texas Co-Op Power magazine. While the buildings were constructed in the 1930s, students have all the benefits of state-of-theart technology. The district has earned a number of competitive grants at the state and national level to expand programs for students. Robertson said teachers have one-on-one relationships with their students and push them to be “exemplary in all things — including the way they dress, talk, behave and treat each other.” Students are encouraged to look beyond their public school education and Goodrich creates a “university culture” to prepare them to continue their education. One recent alum graduated with honors from Brown University and now teaches English and baseball in Russia — but there are many, many other Goodrich success stories. Many former students return to visit the Goodrich campus and keep teachers up to date on their progress through early adulthood. Each summer several Goodrich students enroll in a work program to accomplish maintenance projects. Generations of families have passed down school pride and many of the students are walking the same hallways that their parents and grandparents did. That white wooden swing hanging under the giant live oak tree at the front of the campus may have even played a role in their grandparent’s courtship. Fundraising is now under way for the $750 marker fee. Contact Kephart at Goodrich High School by calling 936- 365-1100 if you can help.