Happy 50th Birthday Bess Brannen

Happy 50th Birthday Bess Brannen Elementary School
Posted on 03/08/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Happy 50th Birthday Bess Brannen Elementary SchoolIn early January, 1968, the Brazosport Independent School District Board of Trustees were in search of the perfect name for their newest elementary school that would open in the fall of that year. Three possible names were finalists. The chosen name, Bess Brannen, was proposed by the other Lake Jackson schools and originally nominated by then, School Board Trustee and Brannen’s former student, Mr. Jesse Hibbitts.

The late Mrs. Brannen had been a teacher in the Velasco schools and also taught in Lake Jackson’s first elementary and junior high schools. Although the other two names submitted, former Vice President John Nance Garner and Red Cross founder Clara Barton, were certainly worthy selections, they would be remembered in history on their own accord. But Mr. Hibbitts believed that by naming the elementary school after a ‘local good teacher,’ that this was a chance to have Bess Brannen remembered by generations to come in the Brazosport area.

Construction delays, due to a summer of bad weather, postponed the opening of Bess Brannen Elementary School. Students officially moved into the 32759 sq.ft. campus on Monday, October 7, 1968. A dedication for the kindergarten through 5th grade school was held on Friday, October 18, 1968.

Through the years, Bess Brannen Elementary School has grown in attendance and size. With added classrooms of more than 14000 sq.ft., several remodels and numerous improvements,  Brannen Elementary has met the needs of thousands of children that have crossed her threshold. As part of the community supported 2014 bond referendum, a new Brannen Elementary campus is slated to open in August of 2020, two years earlier than projected and under budget.

This school year, Bess Brannen Elementary School is celebrating its 50th birthday. The school has had just three principals: Nancy Williams, Johnnie McWilliams and current principal Julie Evans. Brannen is now a Prekindergarten through 4th grade campus of over 570 students and 65 staff members. The school is rated as one of the top elementary schools in the state of Texas, earning five Texas Education Agency Distinctions, all that are possible for an elementary school, for the past two years.

Brazosport Independent School District wishes Bess Brannen Elementary School a happy 50th birthday!
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