Flour Bluff Schools: 125 Years of Educating Children

Education, Flour Bluff, Local history
Flour Bluff School No. 1, pictured in 1916, first known as Brighton School, was located near the present Junior High School, at the corner of Duncan Cemetery.

     In 1890, when the first families of Flour Bluff settled the area, a school did not exist on the Encinal Peninsula.  In 1931, Mrs. Erich George Ritter (Myrtle Mae Watson Ritter) provided the following information about Flour Bluff Common School District No. 22:

“Back in 1890 there were few families living in Flour Bluff, and it was not until about 1892, during what is known as the ‘Ropes Boom’ that enough families moved in to justify the establishment of a public school.  About this time, however, the enterprising settler of this community began to give serious consideration to the education of their children and established a small, one-room school building in the autumn of 1892.  Mrs. Carter was engaged as the first teacher and took up her work with 25 pupils enrolled.  The term was six months and the salary $25.00 per month.  The school continued, but in 1900 the enrollment decreased to 12 pupils with Miss Florence Secoy as teacher.  The term was cut to four months, and the teacher received as her salary $3.00 per pupil.  Board and lodging was provided by the patrons free to the teacher, and she stayed in first one home, then another, as the guest of the family.  The school continued in this manner until 1908, but from 1903 to 1908 was closed due to the small number of children and the only instruction carried on in the settlement was of a private tutelage, where such could be secured.

“But in 1908, the doors of the public school were again thrown open.  New families had moved in.  New trustees Mr. G. H. Ritter, Mr. Joseph Watson, and Mr. Edward Sidney Duncan were elected, and Mr. Owens was elected principal to take charge of the school at a salary of about $25.00 per month and a seven-month term.  There were at this time some 20 pupils.

“For the next eight years, the school prospered under the leadership of good teachers, among whom was Miss Inez Emory, who taught three years of the eight.  The school had grown during this period to the point where the building and equipment seemed inadequate, and new two-room school was planned and construction started.  The framework of this building was completely demolished by the storm August 18, 1916, but was rebuilt, and school opened in November following with two teachers, Mrs. Walton Clark and Miss Anna Ritter.

Anna Ritter is fourth from the left, c. 1938 in Flour Bluff

“In 1919, a three-room teacherage was erected and other improvements made.  A few years later, the school was divided and another building erected for the purpose of accommodating those children who were living too far from the first school.

“The present teachers are Mr. Frank Kadanka, principal of School No. 2, and Miss Opal Wynn, principal, and Miss Melba Buford assistant, at School No. 1.  The trustees are Mr. E. C. Ritter, secretary; Mr. J. I. Gate, president; and Mr. J. H. Roberson, member.  Harmony prevails in the district and some very fine work is being accomplished.  The schools are very well equipped and the teachers well trained.  The trustees are to be commended for their fine spirit of cooperation and progressiveness.  They are interested in providing the best school possible for all the children of the district.

“The assessed valuation of the district is $296,470.00 and a local maintenance tax of $1.00 is levied.  For the 1931-32 term, Mrs. Sam Jeletich was elected to succeed Mr. Gates on the board, and Miss Lucille Wynn succeeds Miss Melba Buford as assistant at school No. 1.”

Flour Bluff School, 1939, Waldron Road site

Boys of Flour Bluff School, c. 1925

          In an article written by Opal Roscher Marston for the Flour Bluff Sun on the 100th anniversary of the school, additional information was provided about the early years of the school:

“In 1928 both auxiliary schools (2 & 3) were dissolved and all students went to the #1 school on the present site on what is now Waldron Road.

“In 1936 the first graduation was held with one graduate, Opal Roscher.  She had been a teacher’s aid in her senior year, teaching 5th grade history.

“In 1937 on the same site as the #1 school, a new brick school was built with multiple rooms and courses offered at high school level, such as bookkeeping, typing and commercial law.  They were taught by Sam L. Chandler who was also the basketball coach.  Teaching English was Julia Kaminka, who was also the senior class sponsor.  The principal was Mr. Hill.  Mrs. Hill taught elementary school. The school system furnished a 1932 Ford sedan for transportation of students on the west side of Flour Bluff bordering the King Ranch.

“Opal Roscher drove the car; this and the fact that Opal’s sister refused to attend school led to Opal returning to school.  Opal’s sister Ruth (12 years younger and a first grader) was bitten by a rattlesnake the second week of school.  Feeling embarrassed about it, Ruth refused to return


To school.  So every day Opal sat outside her school room until s

he felt comfortable to stay.  Opal decided to return to school and take business courses.

“In 1938 there were six graduates: Thelma Johnson, Valedictorian; Betty Barnes, Salutatorian; Edward ‘Pete’ Graham; Clifford Adams; Willie Mae Roper; and Joe ‘J.B.’ Duncan, Class President.  There was one post graduate, Opal Roscher.”

          In the years that followed, Karen Howden, local historian and former U. S. History teacher at Flour Bluff I.S.D., writes in “Flour Bluff Schools: A Notable History” what and who changed the school historically.

“The Flour Bluff Independent School District was created by the convergence of three very divergent entities: oil and gas, ranching, and the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. Through the use of student labor, frugality, and a visionary superintendent, it became a unique campus catering to a community with strong bonds.”

Ernest J. Wranosky, Superintendent of Flour Bluff Schools, 1948 – 1976

“The residents of Flour Bluff voted to become an independent school in April 1948. Superintendent Ernest J. Wranosky expanded the boundaries of the district to 56 square miles of land surface and 100 square miles of water surface. Every year, the district committed to a construction project which utilized government surplus along with local and student labor. One such project consisted of dismantling a hangar at Fort Point at Point Bolivar, Galveston, Texas, by using district equipment acquired from the Texas Surplus Property Agency and manual labor provided by the Flour Bluff students. The surplus hangar was trucked and then floated to Flour Bluff where it became the new gymnasium for the school district.

“Flour Bluff’s purpose of all instruction and activities can be summed up with Wranosky’s philosophy which was to ‘advance and equalize, as far as possible, the opportunities of all students regardless of their mental abilities and social economic status.’ This meant lots of student participation, which even included supervising and managing activities of the school. The philosophy also included an appreciation of all creeds and institutions and a desire for students to earn status in society, industry, politics, and professions ‘through fair and honest dealings, hard work and persistence.’ Patriotism was ever present in this philosophy as Wranosky wanted students to acquire ‘a knowledge of and an appreciation for the great size and value of this great country, its resources, its surface features, and the relative opportunities of its sections.’ The ideas also included an appreciation for the Creator, new fields in science, industry, and social progress.”

     Flour Bluff I.S.D. has changed a bit over the years.  Its valuation has certainly increased as it now encompasses an area of 156 square miles, including the Flour Bluff community, Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi Army Depot, and a developing resort and residential area on North Padre Island.  According to the FBISD website, “Six campuses and athletic facilities are located on a single 170 acre site which supports 5,600 students in prekindergarten through 12th grades. The District is extremely competitive in academic and athletic programs and has competed at the district, regional, and/or state competitions for many years. The University Preparatory High School Program was launched in 2006 as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to establish a program for high school freshman to complete two years of college credit upon completion of their high school diploma.”

Hornet Country: All who live within the boundaries indicated on the map are eligible to attend Flour Bluff ISD free of charge. Those outside the boundaries may pay tuition to attend.

     Flour Bluff continues to make history, as is evidenced by the string of accomplishments over the years.  The following list does not include the awards received locally by students, faculty, and staff.  To be a Hornet is to be a part of a rich history steeped in hard work and a pursuit of perfection.  As in the Flour Bluff Alma Mater,  “All hail to those that came before us and made us so strong.  We will never falter or do you wrong!”  Happy 125th Anniversary, Flour Bluff I.S.D.  You continue to make us proud.

Students, Staff and District Accomplishments 2016 – 2017

Accountability Achievements

  • Junior High – Met Standard with 5 Distinction Designations
  • Intermediate – Met Standard with 2 Distinction Designations
  • ECC, Primary, Elementary and High School Campuses – Met Standard
  • District – Met Standard

High School Academics

  • U.S. Presidential Scholar Candidate – 1 student · National Merit Semifinalists – 2 students · National Merit Commended Scholars – 8 students
  • National Advanced Placement Scholar – 1 student
  • Advanced Placement Scholars – 15 students
  • Advanced Placement Scholars with Honors – 4 students; with Distinction – 5 students
  • National Hispanic Scholars – 12 students
  • Caller Times/Citgo South Texas Distinguished Scholars – 2 students
  • TAFE (Texas Association of Future Educators) – 2 students qualified for state
  • TFA (Texas Forensics Association) – 5 students qualified for state
  • KEDT Challenge Team – 1 student selected to All Star Team
  • Science Fair – 4 Students placed at Regional Science Fair – Regional: 1st Place Biomedical Engineering and Best of Show; 1st Place Biomedical & Health Science; 2nd Place Earth & Environmental Sciences; 2nd Place Behavioral & Social Sciences · VASE (Visual Arts Scholastic Event) 10 Students Superior Rating Regional Competition
  • Art Center–Port Aransas Middle and High School Student Art Show – 1 Best of Show, 3 students – 1st place; 3 students – 2nd place; 2 students – 3rd place; 1 Award of Merit
  • Del Mar College South Texas Press Day – Waldron Street Journal Newspaper Website, waldronstreetjournal.net 1st place
  • Craft Training Center – 1 student won Top Dog award in welding
  • NJROTC – Placed 1st in State Competition; 1st Place – Unarmed Exhibition Drill; 1st Place – Color Guard; 1st Place – Academics Overall
  • NJROTC – Advanced to the National Academic Bowl in Washington, D.C.
  • NJROTC – Unarmed Team and SeaHawks 3rd Place Overall in Nation; Unarmed Drill Team and SeaHawks placed 2nd in Inspection, 2nd Place in Element Exhibition Drill and 4th place in Color Guard at High School Grand National Championship
  • TAJE (Texas Association of Journalism Educators) – 1st Place Photography Scavenger Hunt Contest; Excellent Rating for Feature Writing
  • UIL Calculator Team – Team State qualifier; 4 Individual State qualifiers · UIL Current Issues Team – 1st in District; Individual Regional qualifier
  • UIL Mathematics – State qualifier
  • UIL Number Sense Team – 1st in District; 2 Regional qualifiers
  • UIL One-Act Play, 4th place in District
  • UIL Press Conference Team – 1st Place Newspaper Sports New Writing; 1st Place in Division 5A-2 News Story; 2nd Place Newspaper Feature Writing; 2nd Place Yearbook Tribute Ad Design; 3rd Place Newspaper Feature Photography; 3rd Place Yearbook Sports Feature Photography
  • UIL Science – State qualifier
  • UIL Spelling & Vocabulary Team – 1st place in District; 1 Regional qualifier
  • Cheer America Cheerleading Competition – HS Cheerleaders 1st in Division; Grand Champions in the School’s Division

Junior High Academics

  • TMSCA (Texas Math Science Coaches Association) – Math Science Team 1st place in State (32nd consecutive year)
  • TMSCA – 1 student was State champion in all three math events
  • TMSCA Results–1st Place Sweepstakes (Team); 1st Place Number Sense (Team); 1st Place Calculator Application (Team); 3rd Place General Math (Team); 4th Place Science (Team); 1st Place Number Sense (Student); 1st Place Calculator Application (Student); 1st Place General Math (Student)
  • Science Fair – 4 students advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
  • Science Fair – 1 Regional Science Fair Winner; 1 student placed 2nd and 1 student placed 3rd
  • Art Center–Port Aransas Middle and High School Student Art Show – 2 students – 1st place; 2 students – 2nd place; 1 student- 3rd place
  • Anthem Essay Worldwide Contest Student Semifinalist
  • Voted Reader’s Choice 2016 by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Performing Arts

  • HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) All District Band – 29 students
  • HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) All Region Band – 11 students
  • HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) All Area Band – 3 students
  • HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) Region Orchestra – 3 students
  • HS UIL – Region Marching Band Division 1 rating; qualified for Area Marching Contest
  • HS UIL – 20 Division 1 Rating for Solo and Ensemble
  • HS UIL – 8 instrumentalists and 4 Twirlers advanced to State Solo and Ensemble
  • HS UIL – High School Symphonic Band UIL contest Division 2
  • HS UIL – High School Honors Band UIL Contest Division 1
  • HS UIL – High School Wind Ensemble UIL Contest Division 1
  • HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) All District Choir – 22 students
  • HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) All Region Choir – 16 students
  • HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) All Area Choir – 4 students
  • HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) All Region Treble Choir – 3 students
  • HS UIL – 16 Division 1 Rating for Solo and Ensemble
  • HS UIL – Show Choir and Madrigal ensemble received 1 rating
  • HS UIL – 13 singers and 1 Madrigal of 8 singers advanced to State Solo and Ensemble
  • HS UIL – High School Varsity Treble Choir Contest 1 Concert/1 Sightreading (Sweepstakes)
  • HS UIL – High School Varsity Mixed Choir Contest 1 Concert / 2 Sightreading (performed a Grade 6 selection)
  • HS Region 2 Film Festival – Group won Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Film and Audience Favorite Film
  • JH UIL Band Concert/Sight-reading –Honors Band received ‘1’ in Concert/Sightreading (10th consecutive Sweepstakes) Symphonic Band received ‘1’ in Concert/Sight-reading; (4th consecutive Sweepstakes)
  • JH All-Region Band – 23 students qualified
  • JH Band – 44 students First Division ratings on solos; 2 First Division ratings on small ensembles
  • JH All Regional Junior High/Middle School Choir – 22 students
  • JH Mixed Choir received a ‘1’ in Concert and a ‘1’ in Sightreading; Sweepstakes
  • JH Treble Choir received a ‘1’ in Concert and a ‘1’ in Sightreading; Sweepstakes
  • JH Mixed Choir received a Superior Performance and Best In Class at the Schlitterbahn Sound Waves Music Festival
  • JH Choir – Texas Choral Director’s MS/JH Honors Choir Member, 1 student

Athletics

  • HS Football – Area Finalists
  • HS Football – 25 students Academic All District
  • Shriner’s All-Star Football Game – 2 athletes selected to participate
  • HS Volleyball – District 30-5A First Team – 3 students
  • HS Volleyball – District 30-5A Second Team – 2 students
  • HS Volleyball – District 30-5A Honorable Mention – 3 students
  • HS Volleyball – Academic All-District – 13 students
  • HS Volleyball – Max Preps Player of the Year – 2 students
  • HS Team Tennis –District Champions 10 years in a row; Area Finalists; Regional Quarterfinalists; 1 State Qualifier
  • HS Spring Tennis – Girls District Champions; State Qualifier
  • HS Cross Country –2 students Regional Qualifiers
  • HS Boys Basketball –9 students Academic All District; 4 students Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) Academic All-State;
  • HS Girls Basketball – Bi-District Champions; Area Champions; Regional Champions; State Semi-Finalists
  • HS Girls Basketball – 13 students Academic All-District; 4 students Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA) Academic All-State; 2 students 30-5A MVPs; 2 students TABC All-State; 2 students TGCA All-State
  • HS Golf – Academic All District – 4 students
  • HS Girls Track – 2nd in District, 10 Area Qualifiers; 9 Regional Qualifier & State Winner in 300 Hurdles
  • HS Girls Track – 15 students Academic All District
  • HS Boys Track – 2nd in District; Area Finalist; Regional Finalist
  • HS Boys Track – 12 students Academic All District
  • HS Girls Swimming – District Champions; Regional Champions; 8 State Qualifiers
  • HS Girls Swimming – 13 students Academic All American; 4 students Academic All-State
  • HS Boys Swimming – 1st in District; Regional Champions; 8 State Qualifiers
  • HS Boys Swimming – 9 students Academic All-District
  • Diving – 1 student State Champion
  • HS Girls Soccer – District 3rd Place; Bi-District Champions; Area Champions; Regional Quarter-Finals Champions; Regional Semi-Finalists
  • HS Boys Soccer – District Champions; Bi-District Champions; Area Finalists
  • Boys Soccer – 11 students Academic All-District
  • HS Girls Soccer – 14 students received Academic All-District Honors; 4 students received Academic All-State Honors
  • HS Boys Soccer – District 2nd Place; Bi-District Champions; Area Finalists
  • HS Boys Soccer – 9 students Academic All-District; 4 students TASCO All-State; 1 student TASCO Academic All-State
  • HS Baseball – 6 students Academic All-District
  • HS Softball – 2nd in District; Bi-District Finalists
  • HS Softball – 9 students Academic All-District
  • JH 7th & 8th Grade Girls & Boys Swimming – Completed season Undefeated
  • JH Volleyball – 8th Grade “A” Undefeated
  • JH Football –8th Grade “A” Team 2nd in District; 8th “B” Team District Champions; 7th Grade “B” Team District Champions
  • JH Boys Basketball – 8th Grade “A” Team District Champions; 8th Grade “B” Team Co-District Champions; 7th Grade “A” Team 2nd in District
  • JH Girls Basketball – 8th Grade “A” Undefeated District Champions; 8th Grade “B” Undefeated District Champions; 7th Grade “A” Undefeated District Champions; 7th Grade “B” Undefeated District Champions
  • JH Boys Track – 8th Grade District Champions; 1 student broke school record; 7th Grade District Champions
  • JH Cross Country – 7th Grade Boys 2nd in District; 7th Grade Girls 2nd in District
  • Athletic Signings: 1 student in Baseball @Clarendon College; 1 student in Football @Rice University; 1 student in Football@Texas Lutheran University, 1 student in Football @ Texas A&M University-Kingsville; 1 student in Softball @NavarroCollege; 1 student in Softball @Texas Lutheran University; 1 student in Swimming @Valparaiso University

Intermediate School

  • Science Fair – 6 advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
  • Science Fair – 1 Regional Science Fair Winner; 1 2nd Place and 2 3rd place winners at Regional Science Fair
  • UIL District – 5th grade: 1st place Ready Writing 1st place Spelling; 1st place Number Sense; Number Sense awarded gold medals in category; 2nd Place Sweepstakes
  • UIL District – 6th grade: 1st place in Sweepstakes Trophy; 1st place in Ready Writing; 1st place in Mathematics, 1st place in

Art; 1st Place in Calculator Applications; 1st Place in Science; 2nd place in Spelling, Number Sense, Art and Calculator

Applications; 3rd place in Science, Chess Puzzle and Listening

  • TMSCA (Texas Math and Science Coaches Association) – 6th Grade Math Science Team 1st place at State Tournament

Elementary School

  • Science Fair – 8 students advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
  • Science Fair – 1 Regional Science Fair Winner; 1 student placed 2nd at Regional Science Fair
  • Paralyzed Veterans’ Art Contest – 2 students placed; 1 student national winner
  • Voted Reader’s Choice 2016 by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Primary School

  • Science Fair – 6 students advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
  • Science Fair – 2 students Regional Science Fair Winners; 1 student placed 2nd

Early Childhood Center

  • Science Fair – 6 students advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
  • Science Fair – 2 students placed 2nd at Regional Science Fair

Staff Recognitions

  • Teena Jones – National Society of High School Scholars Educator of Distinction Award

District Recognitions

  • Schools FIRST (Financial Accountability Rating System) Superior Rating
  • Students of Character – 14 students recognized during community-wide event
Retired from education after serving 30 years (twenty-eight as an English teacher and two years as a new-teacher mentor), Shirley enjoys her life with family and friends while serving her community, church, and school in Corpus Christi, Texas. She is the creator and managing editor of The Paper Trail, an online news/blog site that serves to offer new, in-depth, and insightful responses to the events of the day.
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