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Laura Bush to attend ribbon-cutting of school named in her honor

Former first lady Laura Bush will visit the Lubbock-Cooper Independent School District middle school named in her honor for a ribbon-cutting on Oct. 7.

Posted: August 29, 2011 - 5:26pm  |  Updated: August 30, 2011 - 12:09am
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Former first lady Laura Bush will visit the Lubbock-Cooper Independent School District middle school named in her honor for a ribbon-cutting on Oct. 7.

Her husband, former president and Texas Gov. George W. Bush, will not accompany her to the Laura Bush Middle School ribbon-cutting, said Jo Ellen Henderson, public information officer for the school district.

“We’re still waiting on details from her office on what we will be able to do,” Henderson said.

Lubbock-Cooper officials don’t know how long Bush will be in Lubbock, she said.

The school is working out the details about the ceremony.

“We’re very honored that a lady of such class and who has done so much from her platforms as first lady of Texas and first lady of the nation for educational causes is coming. She is a wonderful lady and a great spokesperson for educational issues,” said Lubbock-Cooper Superintendent Pat Henderson.

The Lubbock-Cooper board of trustees voted to name the school after Bush on Nov. 19, 2009, citing her background as an educator, her West Texas roots and her commitment to education and literacy during her tenures as first lady of Texas and first lady of the nation as reasons for the naming.

“She is well-deserving of having a school named after her just from her career in education. She was an ambassador for education. I can’t think of a more deserving person,” said Shawn Sampley, former president of the school board, when the announcement about the naming was made.

A Midland native, Bush holds a degree in education with a master’s degree in library science. She taught in public schools in Dallas, Houston and Austin and worked as a public school librarian, according to her website.

In 1977, at the age of 30, she met and married George Walker Bush, whom she had last passed in the hallway in seventh grade, according to the website.

The school district’s voters approved the construction of the district’s second middle school in a bond election in May, 2009, Pat Henderson said.

Deputy Superintendent Thom Vines said construction of the 174,000-square-foot school began in late July, 2009.

The school’s inaugural students attended their first day of classes on Aug. 22.

It is the only one of the seven Lubbock-Cooper ISD campuses to be named after a person, Pat Henderson said. The high school and first middle school are named Lubbock-Cooper, and the four elementary campuses have directional names — North, South, West and Central elementary schools.

Henderson said several subject areas were considered for naming the school. School officials sent out surveys asking for opinions about various possible names, and the final choice was not based on politics but on Mrs. Bush’s educational background and the example she has set as a proponent for literacy and education, he said.

To comment on this story:

joe.gulick@lubbockonline.com • 766-8758

leesha.faulkner@lubbockonline.com • 766-8706

Laura Bush’s previous visits to Lubbock

■ George W. and Laura Bush visited Lubbock-Cooper on Oct. 27, 1998, when George W. Bush was governor of Texas, according to Superintendent Pat Henderson.

■ The district was one of the first in the state to pass policies that tied accountability for test results to grade promotions, and the governor praised the district during the visit for the policy against social promotions, Henderson said.

■ The governor’s office invited Henderson and Deputy Superintendent Thom Vines to testify before the Texas Senate and House education subcommittees about the state education accountability system, he said.

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tell spike i won't be there....

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