By: Gabrielle Dufrene, The Woodlands High School Senior & EfTA Intern
Lucille J. Bradley Elementary will open its doors for the first time this August. Built to accommodate the burgeoning population in the newly-developed Grand Oaks area, the school will accommodate grades Pre-K to 4. Dr. Christine Butler, formerly principal of Birnham Woods Elementary, will take on this role at Bradley. Her vision for the school is unique.
“My main goal for Bradley is to teach children to care about others,” Dr. Butler said. “Not just others within the school, but in the community. They need to start learning these skills at the elementary level to take them into the real world. Academics are a priority, of course, but I want to help our students develop a sense of caring.”
The school is named after Lucille J. Bradley, a dedicated and passionate member of the community who taught second graders in Conroe ISD for 30 years. Bradley became the first black president of the Montgomery County Retired Teachers Association, held the position of president and board member of the Metropolitan Child Development Center, and was honored in 1999 by the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. among many other awards and honors. Bradley passed away in January of 2014. She considered her students as her children and was admired by many for her compassion, kindness, and caring nature, as evidenced by the decision to name an elementary school in her honor. She lived in Conroe for 90 of her 100 years and is remembered as an involved member of the community, whether she was singing in the church choir or impacting the lives of young people.
“The week before she died, [Lucille] asked me, ‘Do you think anyone will remember me?’ and I answered, ‘Absolutely.’ This school is a sign, she will absolutely be remembered,” said Leatha Moore, niece of Lucille Bradley.
Bradley’s school colors are blue and gray, and the mascot is a bear. The mascot was chosen to follow suit with its feeder high school, the Grand Oaks High School Grizzlies. Grand Oaks will open in the Fall of 2018. Residents of Legends Trace, Wrights Landing, Bristol Lakes, The Falls, Creekside, and Legends Run will attend the new school. If an entering fourth grader is scheduled to attend Bradley, but would like to remain at their previously zoned elementary school, they may be allowed to stay if a proper intra-district transfer application is completed. There are also special conditions for siblings of such students.
The building contains developments to accommodate changing energy codes and safety guidelines for the students. Measures have been taken to install the latest, most energy-efficient technology in the school, such as LED lighting and occupancy sensor controls. The library, fulfilling the need for modern technology and cost-effectiveness, will not contain rows of desktop computers, but interactive and portable devices such as iPads to facilitate learning. This is the first school in the district to contain this type of technology in the library at the elementary level.
Lucille J. Bradley Elementary will hold a back-to-school open house on Monday, August 14, before the start of school on the following Wednesday. There will be a dedication ceremony in October to celebrate the opening of the school and the life of the late Mrs. Bradley, whose dedication to children and love for helping others will undeniably be the backbone of her namesake elementary school. Principal Butler is excited to welcome the new students and join them as they become Bradley Bears.