During the March 21 Alvin ISD Board Meeting, Trustees approved the recommendations of facility names that were brought about by the Alvin ISD Facility Naming Committee, which consisted of community members, teachers, staff members and trustees. The committee worked over a period of two months to evaluate nominations and formalize their recommendation for the Board. The following facility names were approved:
Junior High #7 (New Junior High located in the Shadow Creek Ranch Development) – Dr. Ronald E. McNair Jr. High School
In 1971, Ronald McNair received a Bachelor of Science from North Carolina A&T State University. In 1976, he received a Ph.D. degree in Physics from MIT, becoming nationally recognized for his work in the field of laser physics. Dr. McNair was one of thirty-five applicants selected by NASA from a pool of ten thousand. He was one of seven lost when Challenger Space Shuttle broke apart just 73 seconds into its flight after take-off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 28, 1986. The committee felt that Dr. McNair’s life aligns extremely well with Alvin ISD’s vision: proving that, in a dynamic learning environment: Each student, in every program; with help from committed family members, community members, and school teachers and staff members, can achieve excellence.
Elementary #18 (New Elementary located in the Pomona Development) – Pomona Elementary
In the 1857, a young couple traveled from Tyler and settled on Chocolate Bayou near it’s head. A few families began to settle around this area after the Civil War. The settlement, first known as Pomona, was later named Manvel upon learning a town in west Texas bore it’s identical name of Pomona. The school is also located in the Pomona development.
Future Elementary (location to be determined) – Bel Nafegar Sanchez Elementary
Bel Nafegar Sanchez was an educator in Alvin ISD for more than 30 years. She was the first Director of Bilingual and ESL Programs for Alvin ISD and held that position until her retirement in 2011.
Mrs. Sanchez was District Teacher of the year in 1987 and was Alvin’s Citizen of the Year in 2013. She helped start and continues to run the Alvin Family Community Center and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the YMCA. Mrs. Sanchez has served on the Board of Regents for ACC, the Red Cross of Brazoria County, and the United Way of Brazoria County.
The committee also presented additional recommendations. The Alvin ISD Memorial Stadium Press Box will be named Roy Lee Powell Press Box. Mr. Powell was a member of Alvin High School’s first school band and graduated from Alvin High School in 1943. He still, at 92 years old, attends every home football game. Mr. Powell is the definition of Jacket Pride Never Dies.
The committee also recommended naming the second floor of the new press box at Alvin ISD Memorial Stadium as the Bill Lewis Media Room and Floor. Mr. Lewis is currently the Department Chair of Communications at ACC, the Director of KACC Radio/TV, and the Athletic Director at ACC. Bill Lewis has been the voice of Alvin ISD football since he began broadcasting Alvin ISD games in 1982.
The Board also approved changing the name of Betty K. Nelson Elementary to Bob and Betty Nelson Elementary. Bob Nelson is a life-long Alvin citizen and was the owner and pharmacist at the Red Cross Drug Store and the Towne Rexall Drugstore. He has contributed greatly to the community over the years and the committee feels that honoring his contributions in the name of the campus if extremely appropriate.
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Story by Tomika Gamble