Educators join parents, students in ceremony opening University of Texas Elementary School

Aug. 22, 2003

AUSTIN, Texas—The grand opening of the new University of Texas Elementary School in East Austin on Monday (Aug. 18) drew an overflow crowd of parents and their young children anxious to meet the teachers and staff of a new elementary school that will have access to some of the most innovative teaching resources at The University of Texas at Austin.

Officials and students sing 'The Eyes of Texas' in celebration of the opening of the University of Texas Elementary School
Officials and students sing “The Eyes of Texas” in celebration of the opening of the University of Texas Elementary School. Left to right: Dr. Edwin R. Sharpe, Jr., vice chairman for Educational Systems Alignment Office/academic affairs; Dr. Sheldon Ekland-Olson, executive vice president and provost of The University of Texas at Austin; student Ariel Hernandez; Ramona Treviño, principal/CEO; Janie Flores and daughter Valerie Flores.
Photo: Sherre Paris

Many of the school’s 118 students in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade took their parents on a tour of their classrooms, then listened as the school’s new principal, Ramona Treviño, rang a school bell to begin the welcoming ceremony. Educators from the Austin Independent School District, The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas System joined with community leaders in the opening of the new school at 2200 E. 6th St.

“After months of construction and weeks of preparation, the textbooks, materials and equipment have been ordered and the staff has been hired,” said Treviño. “How exciting now to finally meet the students and parents who will work with us to make the school a success.”

The school began its first academic year by filling every available seat for the pre-kindergarten through first grade classes. A second grade is expected to be added the following year, with another grade added each year until the school includes grades pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

The University of Texas Elementary School operates as an open-enrollment school campus that does not discriminate in any manner on the basis of sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, disability, or academic, artistic or athletic ability. Enrollment in the new school, limited by class size each year, is available to children living in the area east of Interstate 35, south of U.S. Highway 290, west of U.S. Highway 183 and north of State Highway 71.

Teachers will implement a variety of instructional practices that are based on scientific research in the field of education, such as reading programming based on research conducted by the Texas Center for Reading and Language Arts and the groundbreaking study of the National Center for Educational Accountability, which identifies successful math programming in high performing schools serving disadvantaged students.

Monday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony outside the front steps of the school’s community center ended with the crowd joining together in singing “The Eyes of Texas,” the official song of The University of Texas at Austin. Treviño said the school has adopted its own words to the same tune. The words, written by the school’s music teacher, Margaret Wright, are:

Texas and American flags wave on the first day of school at the University of Texas Elementary School
Texas and American flags wave on the first day of school at the University of Texas Elementary School.
Photo: Sherre Paris

“We’re the future UT Longhorns
We are the best you see
We’re the future UT Longhorns
We do math, spell, write and read
No other school is better
We are the best indeed
We’re the future UT Longhorns
UT Elementary
*We are the best
Greater than the rest
UT Elementary
*As onward we go
Everyone will know
We are UT Elementary!”

Note to editors: Photos of the ribbon-cutting ceremony are available upon request by contacting the Office of Public Affairs photo department, 512-471-6412.

For more information contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.