Hundreds of family members, friends, and colleagues gathered to honor Dr. Archie Blanson for the dedication ceremony of the Dr. Archie L. Blanson Career and Technical High School on Sunday, Oct. 14.
Dr. Blanson devoted 39 years to Aldine ISD serving as a teacher, assistant director of buildings and properties, director of buildings and properties, executive director of buildings and properties, director of human resources, assistant superintendent of human resources and completed his Aldine career at the district’s deputy superintendent. In that role, Dr. Blanson oversaw AISD’s operations department.
Dr. Blanson thanked the many family members who made the trip to Houston to share in this special day and his immediate family.
“I want to recognize my wife Beverly, who has been my biggest supporter,” he said. “And I want to recognize my children, Christina, Daniel and Eric. They are my proudest accomplishment in life.”
He thanked his parents Lula and Nathan for instilling a strong ethic in he and his siblings, many of whom attended the dedication ceremony.
Dr. Blanson said education always played an important role in his life and he is glad he chose to have a career in education.
“As the son of sharecroppers, who missed a lot of school in the early years because I had to work, I had every reason not to succeed in life or in education,” Dr. Blanson said. “But instead of feeling defeated, I developed a strong thirst for education.
“Although going to college was not presented to me as an option when I was in high school, I made it an option for myself because I had very little marketable skills. So, with the help of my family I attended college. I just wanted to have options on deciding what I was going to be in life.”
He challenged the students at Blanson CTE to take advantage of the opportunities they have before them.
“Attending college was my path, but it may not be yours and that’s okay,” he said. “College is not for everyone, but you will have that option. You will have training and you will have options. You will have the option of going straight into the workforce with a certificate in hand, which means higher pay.
“You have the best of the best here,” he continued. “A beautiful building, the best resources and the best staff. This district has made a major investment in you, and in return, all we ask is that you choose to be successful by taking advantage of your options.”
He also challenged the Blanson staff to make it their goal to give it their all each and every day they walk through the school’s front doors.
“As educators we should touch the life of every student in a positive way,” Dr. Blanson said. “If we don’t, we have failed them. We should feel the positive impact that we make in our students’ lives and we should be touched by their desire to learn from us and not take them for granted. So, staff, I ask that you use your senses differently. Ask yourself each day that you walk into this beautiful building, ‘what can I do today to help my students become successful?’” He closed with one more challenge to Blanson students.
“Students, I ask you to take advantage of your options and develop the grit and perseverance that you will need to help you get through the tough times.”
Abel Garza, assistant superintendent of community and governmental relations, opened the ceremony by introducing the Aldine ISD Board of Trustees, Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney and members of her Executive Leadership team. He also introduced former Board members A.W. Jones, Marine Jones, Vera Escamilla, Rick Ogden and Dr. Alton Smith who attended the dedication ceremony and Cathy Griggs, the wife of former Board member Merlin Griggs. Former superintendents Dr. Wanda Bamberg, Nadine Kujawa and M.B. “Sonny” Donaldson attended the dedication ceremony, as did former Deputy Superintendent Bill Plummer, former General Counsel Jonathan Hantke and former Assistant Superintendent of Finance Ann-Marie Hazan.
The Aldine High School JROTC presented the colors and Blanson student Cornelius Hightower led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Pledge to the Texas Flag. The Rev. Mike Pender of Dr. Blanson’s church, Fallbrook Church, delivered the invocation.
A video on Dr. Blanson, produced by AISD videographer Alyssa Duty, was then shown, which was followed by a performance by the MacArthur High School Jazz Ensemble.
U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee then presented Dr. Blanson with a Congressional Certificate and a United State flag. She lauded Dr. Blanson for his 39 years of service to the children and staff of Aldine ISD.
Board President Steve Mead then accepted the school on behalf of the Board of Trustees, Blanson Principal Ben Ibarra accepted the school on behalf of the Blanson staff, Blanson teacher Amie Francis accepted the school on behalf of the teachers, student Arianna Contreras accepted the school on behalf of the student body and Rhonda Arnold with the Houston Airport System accepted the school on behalf of the community.
Dr. Blanson and his wife Beverly then unveiled the portrait of him that will hang in the school and Dr. Goffney delivered closing remarks.
“It is truly an honor to be here at the dedication ceremony for Dr. Archie Blanson,” Dr. Goffney said. “Dr. Blanson’s career with Aldine ISD started 39 years ago and he worked every day to promote a positive image of a model employee and leader. As an HR director he brought quality educators to the district and as a leader in the district he brought with him the classroom knowledge needed to make the right decisions. The hard work and vision of Dr. Blanson will always be remembered by the students, families and staff of Aldine.”
A reception was held prior to the dedication ceremony in the Blanson Library. The MacArthur Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Jose Diaz, provided entertainment during the reception.
Director of Public Information Aldine ISD
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