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

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.

Gallegos ES – This school is named for Mario Martinez Gallegos, the late husband of former HISD board member Olga Gallegos, who was a firefighter with the Houston Fire Department for 21 years. He died of cancer in 1990 after retiring as a captain. Gallegos also served in the Navy during World War II and was a commander in the American Foreign Legion. The school opened in 1992.

Clemente Martínez ES — Clemente Martínez ES was named for one of the first Hispanic principals in HISD who also served as assistant principal and district superintendent during the 1970s. He is regarded in Texas as a leading educator and advocate for public schooling, serving HISD with distinction for 35 years. The school named in his honor opened in 1994.

Ortiz MS — Daniel Ortiz was a native Houstonian whose career with HISD spanned 33 years. He went from history teacher to deputy superintendent and was voted outstanding teacher of the year for 1979-1980. He also founded and served as president of the Mexican American Association of School Educators. His school is one of 10 built with funds from Rebuild 2002.

Raul C. Martínez ES — Raul C. Martínez ES opened in 1994 as a relief school for Leeona Pugh Elementary and others in the area. In 1950, Martínez was inducted into the Houston Police Department, and in 1973, he became the first Hispanic constable elected in Harris County. His contributions to education and civil rights have helped many people to function successfully in society. He died in 1990.

Rodríguez ES — One of 10 schools built with Rebuild 2002 funds, this facility was named after Sylvan Rodríguez, the late KHOU-TV newsman who served as a city and community role model for more than 25 years. The school, located on almost 10 acres in southwest Houston, relieved overcrowded conditions at neighboring Benavídez, Braeburn, Leroy Cunningham, and Samuel Red elementary schools. It opened during the first week of 2002.

See last week’s featured schools here.