San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 18th, 2009
Bonham prepares to close after 61 years

The Bonham Pre-K School.

STAFF REPORT

After 61 years in various incarnations, the Bonham Pre-K School will soon close its doors. At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the extended Bonham “family” will meet on the school’s playground to honor its past and future.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet that we will no longer be teaching, working, commuting or hearing kids at this facility,” said Bonham teacher Carl Contreras.

The San Marcos CISD is moving its pre-Kindergarten program from Bonham Elementary School to Hernandez Elementary School, which is being changed from an intermediate school as part of the school district’s continuing facelift.

Contreras has been on staff for nearly 23 years. She was a student there in the 1970s.

“I’ve seen the Bonham program grow from four teachers and a small staff, to over 60 members,” Contreras said. “There have been many wonderful students, and their parents, pass through these doors. The teachers and staff have always been close and help each other out. I expect that part won’t change. We’ll still have the close camaraderie, even when we move to our new location at Hernandez (Elementary School).”

Bonham Pre-K provides developmentally appropriate curriculum for eligible three- and four-year-old students, and for children served through the special education program. It has a focus on social and emotional development, early literacy, oral language development, science, and math.

The current enrollment is 395 students served by 55 staff members. Bonham also collaborates with Community Action, Inc. and provided the educational setting for Head Start students.

According to Bonham librarian Jeanne McCaffrey, the facility once operated as The Southside School, or Latin American School, serving Hispanic children of grades 1-6, from 1948-1968. The name was changed to Bonham in 1965, to honor Texas Revolution hero James Butler Bonham, who died at the Alamo.

Bonham was a Kindergarten campus from 1968-1977, with the first Kindergarten Principal being Dr. LaRue Miller in 1970. In 1985, Bonham became a Pre-K campus, with current San Marcos CISD Assistant Superintendent for Teaching And Learning Yolanda Almandarez being its first principal.

Other past Bonham principals include San Marcos CISD Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lolly Garza, Kathy Haule, Ricardo Hernandez and current Principal Rosemary Garza.

“Bonham has been the beginning place for many of San Marcos CISD graduates,” Garza said. “Our campus family is just that – a family, where every unit is important.”

Continued Garza, “This fall, our location may change, but the spirit of Bonham will remain the same as the Pre-K program relocates to our new classrooms at Hernandez Elementary School.”

A Bonham class in the 1970s

Carl Contreras in front of his class.

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2 thoughts on “Bonham prepares to close after 61 years

  1. I read the article twice and never read what’s supposed to become of the current Bonham school facilities?

  2. That is an excellent question, Ryan.
    (I’ve suggested they renovate the facility and keep it as a neighborhood school…)

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