Dedication ceremonies showcase two newest schools

November 18, 2011

An advocate for children in the classroom and an advocate for children in the courtroom were honored as the namesakes for Northside ISD’s two newest schools during dedication ceremonies held recently at  Lieck and Mireles elementary schools.

More than 2,000 parents, students, and staff members attended dedication ceremonies for the new schools, which opened in August for the 2011-12 school year.

Edmund Lieck and Judge Andy Mireles elementary schools joined the 100-plus schools in the Northside School District. Both schools were funded by the voter-approved School Bond 2007, which built a dozen new schools to accommodate enrollment growth. Enrollment, now at 97,439, is increasing by about 3,000 students a year.

Pictures from each dedication ceremony can be viewed by clicking on the slide show links.

Edmund Lieck Elementary School (Slideshow)

Edmund Lieck was a true educational pioneer who helped establish the roots and traditions of Northside ISD long before the District was created.

Edmund Lieck and his family immigrated to the United States when he was still a child. He and two younger brothers served in the Texas Cavalry during the Civil War, and all three survived and settled in San Antonio. Lieck married San Antonio resident Catherine Gembler in 1874, and the couple had seven children. In 1880, Lieck purchased ranch land west of San Antonio, just south of what are now Potranco and Talley roads.

Wanting to educate his children, as well as the children who lived nearby, Lieck and his neighbors built a one-room school house on the ranch property. They called it the Lockhart School, named for a nearby spring. The school contained 25 home-made desks and a black potbelly stove to keep the students warm in the winter. Lanterns were used to light the inside of the school, and families took turns filling the water kegs and providing wood for the stove. The library had just five books.

Lieck was the first teacher at the school and was known as “the professor.” He welcomed all children to the school, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity. Lieck died in 1907 at the age of 62, but the school continued to be used through the 1940s, when it became one of the original 11 schools to form Northside ISD in 1949.

It’s been more than a century since Edmund Lieck built the Lockhart school, but his legacy – a commitment to education and to serve all children – continues to thrive in his namesake school.

Lieck ES Dedication

To see more images from the event click here.

Judge Andy Mireles Elementary School (Slide Show)

An advocate for children both inside the courtroom and out, Judge Andy Mireles worked tirelessly to keep students on the right track.

Paul Andrew Mireles was born April 3, 1950 in Lockhart, Texas and was one of six children of working class parents. An avid car racing fan, he learned early in his life that education was the ticket to success. He graduated from St. John’s Seminary and briefly considered becoming a priest. But while earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology at St. Mary’s University, a professor suggested that he consider becoming a lawyer.

Mireles’ decision to attend law school changed his life – and the lives of countless others. In 1975, after graduating No. 2 in his law school class, Mireles joined the firm of Hardberger, Branton & Herrera. Then, in 1982, Mireles formed his own law firm, Watkins, Mireles, Brock & Barrientos.

Mireles’ commitment to serving San Antonio’s youth was cemented when he was elected to the San Antonio ISD Board of Trustees in 1984. He served until 1988, and also served as a Board member for the Texas Association of School Boards.

In addition to a passion for helping children, Mireles also discovered a penchant for politics. He left private practice in 1989 when he was elected judge of the 73rd District Court. He immediately joined the Bexar County Juvenile Board and soon saw a need for a separate juvenile justice system that could better serve young offenders.

Mireles pushed for the creation of a docket that focused exclusively on juvenile crime, and from then on he was known as the father of Bexar County’s juvenile justice system. Mireles didn’t use his authority solely to punish young people, but rather he held them accountable for their crimes and gave them a chance to turn their lives around.

Mireles served as Chairman of the Bexar County Juvenile Board from 1998 until his death in 2009 at the age of 59. His death was a blow to the San Antonio community, which lost a champion of juvenile justice.

Mireles ES Dedication

To see more images from the event click here.