By Allan Jamail
Houston, TX. – A year and a half after the ground-breaking ceremony (on May 22, 2018), the New Cloverleaf Elementary School, located at 1035 Frankie Street, held its Ribbon Cutting Dedication Ceremony on Sep 12, 2019.
The new school had its beginning in 1935, when Romanus F. and Frances Nadolney arrived in the North Shore area of Houston. They envisioned having a community and school near the 1,000 acres they bought. They began selling lots, creating the subdivision community of Cloverleaf. In 1942 the Nadolneys donated 6.5 acres of land to the Galena Park school district, for a new elementary school named Cloverleaf Elementary. It opened with 256 children and has been remodeled many times since to provide for the increase of attendance.
Galena Park ISD received a federal grant of $50,000, announced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, from the defense public works fund for construction of the school. The district, under the direction of superintendent Dr. Walter Hinds, voted to issue $15,000 in matching bonds for the school construction.
Today their son Frank continues this generosity to the community they founded, by supporting the North Shore Little League for the last 52 years, and the North Shore Rotary Club and their youth projects.
The Galena Park Masonic Lodge #1290 performed the Corner Stone Leveling Ceremony under the direction of Walter W. Rogers, former Grand Master of all the lodges of Texas. Rogers, now 75, and living in Bedias, Texas, says he remembers coming up in Cloverleaf as a child. The ceremony is a traditional ritual event dating back to Biblical times when stone masons started a building by leveling the first stone to which all remaining stones would be set by. Rogers said Masonry is not a religion and is made up of members who are good men of many religious faiths doing good things for communities and people in need.
The Dedication Ceremony began with a prayer from Aaron Morris, Senior Pastor at Sterling Woods Church. This was followed by pledges from Rachel Vaquera and Elmer Diaz, 5th grade students.
Principal Lee Brown made a dedication speech, stating the celebration of the new school marks a new beginning in the community set aside for the distinct purpose of allowing ALL students to grow and learn. And that the new building will continue the legacy of serving the families of the Cloverleaf neighborhood.
President Ramon Garza of the Board of Trustees gave the greeting address from the school trustees. Superintendent Dr. Angi Williams welcomed everyone and noted GPISD is committed to building a strong foundation for our future student learners.
Jacqueline Moreno, teacher and former student, said, “It’s an honor and privilege to speak to you today, because in the late 1970’s I was a student at Cloverleaf Elementary. I remember a big, long hallway with what seemed like many large, wooden doors, the smell of paste, and a huge cafeteria with hot meals. I learned about all the normal things kids learn about in school, like reading, writing, science, music, math… and I even learned about friendships, prayer and manners.”
Moreno continued, “In the mid-1990’s, after graduating from college, I was proud to come back to teach and give back to the place that helped make me who I have become. This time, the school seemed small…or maybe I was just bigger. Either way, we had more students enrolled and the school building had slightly changed. A new wing had been added as well as a few portable classrooms. My classroom was on the back end of the property, which promoted daily exercise for our class; however, I quickly realized the school was more about the people than the building. As a fourth-grade teacher at Cloverleaf, I was undeniably home.”
“Now, as I walk around the school, I am in awe of this 21st century structure with the learning stairs, the huge library, the courtyard, the technology, and all the things I never knew as a child. I feel proud to serve this community and the students who will have new opportunities to grow and learn in this school that has always been so special to me,” said Moreno.
The ceremony concluded with songs performed by the Cloverleaf Elementary Ensemble and Choir.