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Beverly Hills Celebrates 50 Years of Excellence

Beverly Hills Intermediate Celebrates 50 Years of Excellence
Posted on 01/20/2015
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The South Belt community, former students and staff gathered Friday, Jan. 16 to celebrate the five decades since Beverly Hills Intermediate School opened.

It was an ideal time for attendees to reminisce, share jokes and celebrate the legacy of Beverly Hills.

As a video of the school’s history played in the cafeteria, attendees embraced, swapped stories and thumbed through old yearbooks and photo albums in the lobby.

Former students Matthew Bergeron and Frederick Olivares stopped by the reunion to give thanks to their favorite teacher and former head football coach, Ben Portis.

“I know this reunion is about Beverly Hills but for us it’s about Coach Portis,” Bergeron said. “All this would not be here right now if it had not been for this man.”

When asked what he coached, Bergeron responded, “He coached life.”

Portis made such an impact on Bergeron that he named his son after him.

The school welcomed several special guests including former principals Tommy Baccaro (1985-92), Stephanie Wright (1992-2006) Alyta Harrell (2006-12), Pasadena ISD Board of Trustees, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kirk Lewis, Rev. Emory Gadd of Sagemont Baptist Church and others.

Wright spent 30 years of her life within the Beverly Hills building.

“To be able to come back share this milestone with everyone is very heartwarming to me,” she said affectionately.  

The school’s current principal Stacey Barber, who has been part of the Beverly Hills family for 16 years, was thrilled to be among her predecessors who helped pave the way for the school’s success.

“It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces,” she said. "I am so lucky because I had the honor to meet Tommy Baccaro this week. It’s so interesting how some of the same things Mr. Baccaro learned when he was principal were passed along to me.”

Beverly Hills Intermediate opened in 1964 under the leadership of Principal W.B. Smith (1964-1985). The school was the first in Pasadena ISD to be built specifically as an intermediate level campus. The campus opened with 625 students. Very quickly the enrollment jumped to 1,100. Miller Intermediate opened in 1968 to relieve crowding.  But population growth in the area continued to grow expanding enrollment to 1,500 students. This growth prompted the district to open Thompson Intermediate to accommodate additional students. Today the campus is home to 1,114 seventh and eighth grade students.

Recently voters approved a bond election which will provide an additional intermediate campus to relieve crowding at Beverly Hills Intermediate. The campus will be built in the Riverstone Ranch subdivision.

BHI 50th Reunion
Pictured: Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kirk Lewis; former principals Stephanie Wright (1992-2006); Tommy Baccaro (1985-92); Principal Stacey Barber (2012-present); and Alyta Harrell (2006-12).

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