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Music teacher retiring from River Oaks ES after 37 years

2014 May 29
by HISD Communications
Berndine Hicks

Berndine Hicks

Over the 39 years Berndine Hicks has been teaching in HISD schools, she has probably touched the lives of thousands of students. But that era will be coming to an end on May 30, when the lifelong music teacher finally steps down from position in the classroom.

“My family has been on me [to retire] for the past two years,” explained Hicks. “I’m an active person, and involved in many things, but they want me to share some time with myself and my family.”

Hicks has spent the last 37 years teaching music at River Oaks Elementary School, where she is so beloved that a group of fourth-graders approached her with a petition recently, asking if she would change her mind and stay just one more year, so they could have her as fifth-graders.

“The kids and parents have been very expressive,” said Hicks. “But I’ve been looking forward to a little R&R, and I told them not to worry, because someone wonderful was going to come along behind me.”

Hicks began her teaching career in Victoria ISD, then split her time between Brock ES, Briargrove ES, and Grady MS (then an ES) when first she came to HISD in 1975. She has also served as the drill team sponsor at Washington High School.

“I have been blessed to work at campuses where everyone supports the music program,” said Hicks, who is one of about 200 teachers who are retiring this year. A few employees are actually marking the anniversary of their start dates this week (May 25–31). See if you recognize any of the names below.

30 years

  • Dexter Tensley, tractor operator, Construction and Facility Services

20 years

  • Morline Fruge, bus driver, Transportation Services

15 years

  • Walter Simpson, crossing guard, Blackshear ES

5 years

  • Donna Keller, clerk, Horn Academy
3 Responses leave one →
  1. Lois Bolar permalink
    May 30, 2014

    Congratulations Ms. Hicks on your retirement!

  2. Ruth Thornton permalink
    May 31, 2014

    Berndine, I am so proud to be able to call myself a long time friend of yours, also, as a member of National Women of Achievement where we are both members. CONGRATULATIONS and God speed. I know you will thoroughly enjoy being retired.

  3. Frances Woods permalink
    June 3, 2014

    Congratulation Ms. Hicks never knew you were a school teacher only knew you the best Majorette teacher at Booker T Washington HS enjoy your life.

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