Hispanic Heritage and History lives on in campus namesakes throughout HISD – Week One

Hispanic Heritage Month kicked off September 15 and runs through October 15.

District wide, Hispanic descendants are honored by having schools carry their namesake allowing their rich history to live on.

HISD has 22 schools that recognize the contributions of Hispanic civic and community leaders who range from educators and civil servants to local restaurateurs, newscasters, Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, and even Nobel Prize-winners.

We invite you to visit our blog each week throughout Hispanic Heritage Month as we will feature more schools who carry on these important legacies.

Benavídez ES — This school, which opened in 1992, was named in honor of Master Sergeant Roy P. Benavídez (1935–1998), a Green Beret in the U.S. Army and native Texan who survived against incredible odds in Vietnam. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1981.

Carrillo ES — Edna M. Carrillo Elementary is located on the site of the former Parker Memorial Methodist Church, previously known as the Sims Estate. Built in 1993, the school was named after Edna Moreno Carrillo, one of Houston’s most innovative educators. She pioneered the “open concept” model classroom and served as principal of Benjamin Franklin ES from 1972 until her death in 1975.

Chávez HS — César Estrada Chávez (1927-1993) was an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, later the United Farm Workers, in 1962, a union for migrant farm workers. The school named after him opened in August 2000. For an extensive biography, see this page on the Chavez High School website.

Crespo ES — Manuel Crespo (1903–1989) was a native of Spain who moved to America following the death of his father when he was 16. He settled in Houston in 1923 and became the city’s first Hispanic police officer in 1940. Crespo also cofounded Chapter #60 of the League of United Latin-American Citizens (LULAC) and ran a funeral home on Navigation Street for more than 50 years. The school named for him opened on the city’s southeast side in January 1992.

Farias ECC – Dedicated in 2005, this early childhood center honors Armandina Farias, an HISD educator who worked for the district more than 35 years. She began her career in 1960 at Zavala Elementary School and served as the principal of both Lee and Jefferson elementary schools. Farias was inducted into the National Hall of Fame of Hispanic Women in Leadership in 1990. She was still working at Jefferson when she passed away suddenly in 1997.

Garcia ES – Dedicated in 1992, this elementary school is named after Marcario Garcia (1920–1972), who was a graduate of Sam Houston High School and fought in World War II. During the course of his military service, Garcia won two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars with Valor, and a Bronze Oak Leaf. He also won the nation’s highest award for valor, the Congressional Medal of Honor, which was presented to him in 1945 by President Harry S. Truman. By the time Garcia retired, he had attained the rank of Command Sergeant Major, the highest enlisted rank possible.