Esparza History


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n 1970, ten acres were purchased from Science Park to build an elementary school in the area. Because the land was located in the Culebra Park subdivision, the Northside School District planned to call the school "Culebra Park Elementary." Members of the community then joined together and petitioned the school board to name the school for a famous Hispanic individual since the neighborhood was predominately Hispanic. After extensive research, it was decided that the Alamo hero, Gregorio Esparza, would be an appropriate namesake for the school.

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Principal: James Resendez 1972-1985

Vice Principal:
(1984-1985) Eleanor Elder

The school was designed as an open concept school reflective of the multi-age, multi-level philosophy, which dominated educational strategies during that time. The library was the center of the school with classrooms forming the perimeter of the building. Mr. Resendez guided the staff in creating a student-centered school, which focused on meeting the needs of every student

197317,000 square foot addition was added to the original back of the building.

1975:  A gym was added to the existing facilities.

1977:  Another 17,000 square foot addition was completed.

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Principal:  Eleanor Elder 1985-1987

Vice Principals:
(1986-1987) Mary Lou Mendoza
(1985-1986) Margaret Mitchell

Educational philosophies and trends changed, so during Mrs. Elder's leadership, walls were added to make for a more traditional classroom setting in place of the open concept school. Mrs. Elder also started the San Antonio Fiesta poster collection, which decorates the cafeteria to this day.

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Principal:  Yolanda Molina 1987-1989

Vice Principals:
(1988-1989) Ramiro Romero
(1987-1988) Mary Lou Mendoza

To present a more inviting look to Esparza, benches were added to the front of the school. Parents and visitors were encouraged to sit and talk whenever they came to pick up their children.

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Principal:  Melva Matkin 1989-2011

Vice-Principals:
(2009-2011) Teresa Pena
(2002-2008) Veronica Segovia-Cadena
(2000-2002) Marta Rivera
(1998-2000) Fernando Lopez
(1992-1998) Rebecca Carmona
(1989-1992) Oralia Gonzalez

Significant changes in the field of education and in the community as well as an increased emphasis on improving student achievement led to numerous changes during these years. Student data and community demographics were studied, and groups met to analyze ways to address the identified needs --- lack of student achievement, lack of student motivation, poor parent involvement, increased mobility, and changing community demographics.

1989-90: Special Education transitioned to an inclusion model, beginning with 4th and 5th graders.  Staff developed a School Vision which committed to creating a stimulating, challenging curriculum and instruction for all learning needs and styles, to providing personal and professional growth opportunities for all staff, and to developing partnerships with parents and community members.

1990-91:  Staff and community studied the Accelerated School Program and decided to adopt its philosophy of high expectations for all and set the goal of having all students performing on grade level by the time they complete fifth grade. Strengths and weaknesses were identified and plans made to address deficit areas. A 14,373 square foot addition was added to the back of the school creating a Pre-Kinder/Kindergarten wing with Computer Labs. Esparza became a Performance Contract School with Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Region 20 in a statewide effort to improve student achievement. Region 20 provided guidance and support for restructuring efforts, curriculum development and alignment, and training in Accelerated Teaching and Learning strategies. Waivers were granted by TEA and additional staff development time was provided to accomplish these goals.

1993-94:  Studied the Success for All Reading Model and developed a 1st Grade adaptation for Esparza. Began the study of Accelerated Teaching and Learning (AT&L) practices and attended our first International Alliance for Learning (IAL) Conference in St. Louis. Pre-Kinder, Kinder, and First Grade teachers developed the curriculum for our Oral Language Computer Lab for Pre-Kinder through First Grade students to address our students' language deficiency. Funds were allocated from Chapter I (now Title I) for the computers and software. The materials were copyrighted and offered to other campuses.

1994-95:  Selected as the school site for the San Antonio 2000 Model Family Clinic.  Participated in the Northside ISD Academics 2000 Grant.  Became a School Affiliate with the International Alliance for Learning.

1995-96:  First Edition of GREGORIO ESPARZA: Alamo Hero published by Eakin Press. Written by Cahndice Smith Matthews and illustrated by Yvonne Dilley-Cruz.

1996-97:  Celebrated Esparza Elementary School's 25th Anniversary. Students studied the life of Gregorio Esparza and performed in a pageant celebrating his history.  Hosted IAL Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Creation of Esparza Elementary website by Alfredo B. Cruz, campus webmaster. Creation of Esparza's Kindergarten Garden with Master Gardener Jerry Herrera.

2001-02:  Group of 24 (staff, parents, and community members) traveled to Washington, D.C. to receive the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award. Launched the first year of our Dual Language Program with one Kinder and one First Grade class. Celebrated Esparza Elementary School's 30th Anniversary. Students studied the life of Gregorio Esparza and performed in a pageant celebrating his history.

2004-05:  School began major renovation project to:

*Install New HVAC System
*Add walls and doors to classrooms
*Replace chalkboards with dry erase boards
*Ensure compliance with ADA requirements

2005-06:  Full implementation of The Dual Language Programs in grades K-5.  Began development of the Learning Lab to provide interventions for Special Education and At Risk students.

2006-07:  Qualified to participate in the Governors Educator Excellence Award Program.

2007-08:  Campus Technology Upgrade through bond deployment, 
Melva Matkin, Principal, wrote Gregorio Esparza: Our Namesake for Class Studies
Monies received from the Governors Education Excellence Grant

2008-09:
1st Dual Language Class completed 8th Grade @ Sul Ross Middle School
Monies received from The DATE Grant

2009-10: 
Monies received from DATE 2 Grant
Dan Leija, 5th Grade Teacher, named NISD Elementary Teacher of the Year.

2010-11:  
Monies received from DATE 3 Grant 
Dan Leija, 5th Grade Teacher, Named State of Texas Teacher of the Year.
East Parking Lot Addition was completed.

Principal:  Billy Navin 2011-Present

Vice Principal:  Lisa Kypuros 2011-Present

2011-12:  
Campus-wide HVAC upgrade.  


2012-13:  
Summer Flooring Project and Schoolwide Technology Deployment, Several Murals completed including the main Cafeteria depicting the Campus Emblem as well as a mural outside the library depicting the campus mascot.

2013-14:  
Several Murals completed including the Pillars of Character and the Campus Mission Statement on the back wall of the cafeteria as well as outside the wall of the library depicting the life of Gregorio Esparza.

2014-15:  
Esparza identified by the state (TEA) for the following achievements:
-Awarded the the status of a High Progress Title 1 Campus (Top 25% of all T1 Campuses in the State of Texas)
-Achieved TEA Distinction in the Following Areas:
1. Academic Distinction in Mathematics
2. Academic Achievement in Science
3. Top 25% Student Achievement
4. Top 25% Closing the Achievement Gap

2015-16:
Esparza achieved all 5 possible Academic Distinctions available to campuses by the State (TEA)
1. Academic Achievement in Reading
2. Academic Achievement in Science
3. Top 25% Student Progress
4. Top 25% Closing the Achievement Gap
5. Postsecondary Readiness