By: Aldine ISD
Fifty years is a considerable amount of time, and marks a significant portion of a person’s life. Turning 50
is a milestone for many, as is 50 years of marriage.
To mark Eisenhower High School’s 50th anniversary, former and current Eisenhower High students, staff,
administrators, along with Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney and members of her
Executive Leadership Team, gathered at the school on Monday, Aug. 1 to celebrate Eisenhower’s 50th
Joining the crowd were three former principals, Fred Richardson (who served as Ike’s principal for 13
years), Ben Ibarra and Todd Lindeman, who joined current Principal Mandele Davis to share in the
Eisenhower teacher Angela Francis delivered the welcome, which was followed by remarks by Dr.
Dr. Goffney said Eisenhower, or Big Ike as it is also known, has been an important part of the community
for the last 50 years.
“Today, we not only celebrate 50 years of learning, but we are also celebrating an opportunity to come
together as a community,” Dr. Goffney said. “This community has a legacy, and there is so much pride in
its students and school. We have many here who are students today, whose parents were students here,
and whose grandparents graduated from Ike. I can tell you that I know, as Superintendent and as a parent,
that every family whose had students cross these doors is that they seek the best for their children. They
want the neighborhood to grow.”
She added Eisenhower has changed a lot since it first opened in 1972.
“Without a doubt, Eisenhower High School has changed and grown over the years,” she said. “The school
is now an International Baccalaureate World School offering the rigorous and highly-valued IB Diploma
Program. Eisenhower High School has so many wonderful traditions, and now that your children and
grandchildren are going through the district, you are watching the impact of these traditions in your own
Following Dr. Goffney’s remarks, Eisenhower Librarian Allison Vaughn provided a historical perspective
of Eisenhower. She shared with the audience that Julie Nixon Eisenhower, the granddaughter of school
namesake President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the daughter of President Richard Nixon, attended the
official dedication ceremony in November of 1972. Also in attendance were U.S. Senator John Tower,
Houston Mayor Louie Welch and former Aldine ISD Superintendent W.W. Thorne. Vaughn also shared a
number of highlights over the years in athletics, academics, performing arts and visual arts.
Davis then introduced Richardson, Ibarra and Lindeman and presented each with a token of appreciation
for their service to the school.
She also singled out three current staff members who have spent more than 29 years serving Eisenhower
students. The three were English Teacher Kelly Turner (32 years), Head Athletic Trainer Doc Nelson (30
years), and Social Studies Teacher Jeffrey Brush (29 years).
Janice Weaver, a representative of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, presented Davis with a proclamation
from the Mayor declaring Aug. 1, 2022 as Eisenhower High School Day.
Weaver had three children and one grandchild attend Eisenhower.
Amanda Edwards, an Eisenhower High School graduate and former At-Large Houston City Council
Member, said she cherished the four years she spent as an Eagle and thanked her former teachers for their
dedication to her and her classmates.
“Dreams could be reached and realized as an Eisenhower student,” she said. “I want to give all of you a
round of applause for all you did for us. I will never forget the love, support and investment you made in
all of us.”
Staff member Leslie Dever then recognized current and past employees who were present at the event.
Davis, who is a 1996 graduate of Eisenhower, delivered closing remarks.
She fondly reflected on her time as an Eisenhower student.
“Growing up in the neighborhood, I understood the expectation of being excited about school and to be
proud of my high school,” Davis said. “Having school pride and excelling were requisites for being an
Eagle. I knew that I was entering a community who loved me, protected me, educated me, and ensured I
excelled my believed potential. No one could have predicted just the amount of fun and the lifetime of
memories I’d have as a student here.”
She said the 50th
Anniversary celebration will long be remembered by all who attended the event.
“Today is a momentous occasion for everyone assembled here and those who could not attend for we all
have something in common – our love and adoration for our dear Eisenhower Senior. Today, while
extraordinary special for us, is a day in the making 50 years. Fifty years of historic moments, 50 years of
celebrations, 50 years of living the dreams of our ancestors who worked to ensure we live our mission of
making the lives better for all whom are educated here,” Davis said.
The 50th Anniversary celebration was organized by Francis, Vaughn and Dever.