Freeman Elementary's cornerstone, as it was laid in 1960, and now. At left, then Superintendent of Schools V.W. Miller and John T. Bean, representing the Grand Lodge of Texas, pose with two descendants of A.B. Freeman. At right, current Principal Kaye Post and Assistant Principal Susan Wadlington re-enact the 1960 photo with the help of fourth-graders Gissell Jaimes (left) and Jorge Gaona (right).
Freeman Elementary will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Thursday with the groundbreaking of a new SPARK Park facility and a program in the cafeteria.
The highlight of the anniversary program will be a student presentation, "Freeman Through the Decades." The program is set to start at 6 p.m.
The SPARK Park groundbreaking is set for 5 p.m.
Freeman, located at 2323 Theta in Houston, opened its doors on Oct. 4, 1960, to serve the rapidly expanding Freeway Manor neighborhood and relieve overcrowding at South Houston Elementary.
The school was named after A.B. Freeman, who served on the Pasadena ISD Board of Trustees from 1923 to 1941. At the time of Freeman's retirement from the board, only three previous board members had served longer terms: J.D. Parks, Oscar Kruse and Charles Garfield.
Freeway Manor was so new in 1960, residents at the time has no direct outlet to the Gulf Freeway. Edgebrook Drive, now the neighborhood's main traffic artery, would not be connected to the freeway for another couple of years.
Earnesteen Milstead served 26 years as the school's first principal, retiring in 1986 with 43 years of service in education. Milstead Middle School, also in Freeway Manor, is named in her honor.
She is one of only four persons to serve as principal. Judy Bowers, Susan Jackson and the current principal, Kaye Post, succeeded her.
"Everyone in the Freeman school community is excited about the celebration," Post said. "We hope that many of our former students and staff members will join us as we come together for this momentous occasion."
Shuttle buses will run from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. from off-site parking locations at South Houston Intermediate, Matthys Elementary and St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church to Freeman and back.