Hancock Elementary principal Veronica Sandoval with the late Thomas Hancock's wife Charlsie. Photos by Bruce Stone, PISD Communications
Thomas Hancock (above) dedicated his 39-year career to Pasadena ISD.
By Melissa Trevizo
Known as a passionate teacher, administrator and community ambassador, the late Thomas Hancock officially became the namesake to a new school, Thursday, November 3 during a dedication ceremony for Thomas Hancock Elementary School.
“Mr. Hancock was my school principal at Pasadena High School. If he were here today, he might be surprised that I am the superintendent of schools,” joked Dr. DeeAnn Powell. “From the perspective of a student and later an employee, I can tell you that Mr. Hancock made an incredibly positive impact on this district.”
Hancock dedicated his entire 39-year career to Pasadena ISD, starting as a Latin teacher at South Houston High in 1962 and retiring as deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction in 2001. Hancock also attended district schools including Kruse Elementary, Jackson Junior High and Pasadena High School, where he graduated in 1958.
“As a campus family, we are looking forward to honoring Mr. Hancock tonight by coming together and celebrating his legacy,” said Hancock principal Veronica Sandoval. “At Hancock, we value the idea of exploration. We take pride in finding the balance between tradition and innovation and recognize that in an ever-changing global society anything is possible.”
The exploration-themed ceremony welcomed hundreds of guests including Hancock’s wife, Charlsie and many other family members, colleagues from his time at Pasadena High and other Pasadena ISD campuses and a host of other friends and community supporters.
The dedication included performances by the South Houston High choir and Hancock’s class of 2027 and the presentation of colors by the Pasadena High JROTC. Guests were also treated to speeches by Dr. Powell; Sandoval; Dr. Rhonda Parmer, the district’s associate superintendent of campus development and Pasadena ISD board president Nelda Sullivan, who shared a story about Hancock.
“Tom has been noted as saying that he didn’t recall ever hearing his parents say a negative word to one another,” Sullivan said. “If you think about Tom and the way he conducted himself, you could see that influence in him. He was always willing to serve in whatever capacity was required and he was a delight to serve with.”
Also present at the event were two former Pasadena ISD superintendents Dr. Kirk Lewis and Dr. Rick Schneider, general contractors from Collier Construction and members of the future facilities committee, who recommended the addition of the campus to the district.
“I speak for all of us when I say we truly appreciate the community and taxpayers for supporting the construction of this campus by the passage of the 2011 bond,” Dr. Powell said. “An integral part of any successful bond campaign is the Facilities Committee.”
Taking note of the school’s mascot, the “Bison,” Sandoval expressed her thoughts about the campus.
“At Hancock we remind ourselves daily that we are one bison and that together we charge forward and explore every possibility. Though he is no longer with us, Mr. Hancock’s legacy will continue to live on for many years to come as students fill the hallways at this campus.”
Charlsie Hancock (center) with many of her children, grandchildren and extended family.
Dr. Rhonda Parmer, district associate superintendent of campus development with Sandoval.
Members of the Hancock pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes say the Pledge of Allegiance and the Texas Pledge.