On Sunday, Oct. 7, members of Lou Vardeman’s family, along with members of the Aldine ISD Board of Trustees, Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney, AISD administrators, Vardeman administratros and staff members and community members gathered for the official dedication ceremony of the Lou Vardeman EC/Pre-K/K Center.
Ms. Vardeman served Aldine ISD for 46 years as a teacher and assistant principal, before becoming the district’s first Primary Language Arts Program Director. In that role she trained teachers and facilitated curriculum writing and textbook selection. Ms. Vardeman was instrumental in developing Aldine’s Pre-K and Direct Instruction program. She worked to equip the district’s first EC/Pre-K centers and she worked closely with elementary principals to ensure that Aldine’s youngest students were receiving a great start in Aldine.
Ms. Vardeman was known across the state as a language arts expert and worked with her close friend Pat Stevens, the district’s elementary language arts program together to develop training session and both were instrumental in writing the grant in the early 1990s that began the magnet program in Aldine.
Ms. Vardeman lived in the Aldine community on Chrisman Road for many years. Her niece Nita Pestlen and her husband Pat also worked for Aldine ISD.
Nita delivered remarks on behalf of the Vardeman family and said having a school named in her aunt’s names was truly special to the family.
“This is truly an exciting day to be here for the dedication of the Lou Vardeman EC/Pre-K/K Center,” Nita said. “We envy those of you who have the opportunity to work here and we are proud to have Aunt Lou remembered in such a wonderful manner.”
Nita reminded the audience of how important her work was to her aunt.
“She was dedicated to the students of Aldine and worked tirelessely with her colleagues to ensure that each child received the quality education they deserved,” Nita said. “What a better way to honor her legacy than to dedicate a school in her honor.”
Nita also thanked the AISD Board of Trustees and former administrators for naming a school in Ms. Vardemen’s name.
“We’d like to thank Dr. (Wanda) Bamberg, Dr. (Archie) Blanson and the Board of Trustees for making this a reality. As Maria Montessori once sad, ‘Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society.'”
Abel Garza, assistant superintendent of community and governmental relations, opened the ceremony by introducing Aldine ISD’s Board of Trustees, Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney and members of her Executive Leadership Team. Mr. Garza also introduced former Board member Rick Ogden and former superintendents M.B. “Sonny” Donaldson and Dr. Wanda Bamberg, former Deputy Superintendent Bill Plummer, former Area Superintendent Kaye Massey and former Assistant Superintendent Kenneth Black who were also in attendance.
Following introductions, the Mead Middle School LOTC presented the colors. Vardeman students Mayte Estrada, Jasmine Reyna and Israel Rodriguez led the audience in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Pledge to the Texas Flag.
Cynthis Heffington then delivered the invocation, which was followed by a video presentation on Ms. Vardeman which was produced by Alyssa Duty, Aldine ISD’s videographer.
The Vardeman Choir, under the direction of Jaunetta Copper and the Hambrick Middle School Choir, under the direction of Hannah Swenson then performed four songs.
AISD Board President Steve Mead accepted the school on behalf of the Board of Trustees, Vardeman Principal Orfelinda Todd and teacher Gabrielle Houston accepted the school on behalf of the Vardeman staff. Vardeman student Jasmine Reyna accepted the school on behalf of the student body and parent Carmen Arzapala accepted the school on behalf of the community.
Following Nita Pestlen’s remarks, she and family member Katrina Powell unveiled the portrait of Lou Vardeman that will hang in the school.
Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney delviered closing remarks.
Director of Public Information Aldine ISD
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