AISD Board honors four individuals By naming schools in their honor

During the Dec. 19 Board meeting, Aldine ISD Trustees honored two current Trustees, one former trustee and a former administrator by naming schools in their honor.

Those honored were current Trustees Dr. Viola M. Garcia and Steve Mead, former Trustee Marine Jones and former administrator Lou Vardeman.

The new middle school on West Mount Houston Road will be named after Dr. Garcia, the new middle school on Lauder Road will be named after Mr. Mead, the new EC/Pre-K Center on Lauder Road will be named after Ms. Vardeman and the new middle school on Townsen Blvd. will be named after Mrs. Jones.

Dr. Garcia has served on the Board since her appointment to the Position 7 seat in 1992. She has held all four board offices and has served on numerous committees. Dr. Garcia has been a visible and active board member, attending numerous district and community events to visit with students, parents and community members. In her role as a professor at the University of Houston Downtown, she has promoted Aldine programs and students by training future teachers for local school districts including Aldine. As a Master Trustee, Dr. Garcia is a member of the Mexican American School Board Members Association and has served as that group’s president. She has also served as a regional director, secretary-treasurer, president and past president of the Texas Association of School Boards. She is currently serving at the national level as a regional director for the National School Board Association. Dr. Garcia and her husband Jorge have three daughters who attended Aldine schools and graduated from Eisenhower High School.

Mr. Mead was elected to the Position 5 seat in May 2004. He has held all four board offices and chaired numerous committees. Mr. Mead, a graduate of Aldine High School, has lived and worked in the MacArthur community for more than 50 years. He is the owner of Component Sales and Service, a geotechnical lab equipment company, located in the Aldine community. Mr. Mead has been active in a number of civic organizations, serving on the boards of Aldine YOUTH, the Aldine Noon Optimist Club, the Aldine Scholarship Foundation and the Aldine Improvement District. Mr. Mead is known throughout the community for his service and generosity. He personally volunteers with many organizations that support causes in the Aldine area. Each year the Aldine Noon Optimist Club donates bikes for children at each Aldine elementary school and they donate food to many families at Thanksgiving. Mr. Mead attends many athletic games and events in the community and district. Mr. Mead and his wife Jill have three daughters, all of whom attended Aldine ISD schools and graduated from MacArthur High School. His daughter April currently serves as Dyslexia Specialist at Mendel Elementary School.

Mrs. Jones served on the Board for 10 years. She was appointed in February 2002 and elected in May of that same year. Prior to becoming a Board member, Mrs. Jones devoted 38 years in Aldine ISD as a school secretary, teacher, librarian and counselor. Mrs. Jones has lived in the Aldine community for more than 50 years. During her 10-year tenure as a Trustee, she held all four board offices and served on numerous committees. Mrs. Jones has always had a heart for all children. Over the years, she has unofficially “adopted” many children who have considered her a mentor and a caring and encouraging friend. Mrs. Jones’ daughter Marcie attended Aldine schools and now works for the district as an assistant principal at Davis High School.

Ms. Vardeman was a longtime resident and employee of Aldine ISD. She served 46 years before she retired in January 2000. Ms. Vardeman was a teacher and assistant principal before becoming the Primary Language Arts Program Director. In that role, she trained teachers, and facilitated curriculum writing and textbook selection with numerous teachers. Ms. Vardeman was instrumental in developing Aldine’s Pre-K program. She worked to equip our first EC/Pre-K centers like Hinojosa. Ms. Vardeman worked closely with the elementary principals to ensure that the district’s youngest students were getting a great start in Aldine. Ms. Vardeman was known across the state as a language arts expert with her close friend and co-worker Pat Stevens, who was the elementary language arts program director. Together they developed training sessions, invited nationally known speakers to Aldine and they were both instrumental in writing the grant in the early 1990s that began the magnet program. Ms. Vardeman lived in the community on Chrisman Road for many years. Her niece Nita Pestlen and her husband Pat also worked for Aldine ISD.