The woman with a passion for preserving the past now has become part of history as a school namesake for Northside ISD.
Bobbye Behlau grew up in Lampasas, where she began her education in a one-room schoolhouse. After graduating from Abilene Christian College in 1950, she began teaching third grade in Killeen. She soon moved to Randolph Elementary School at Randolph Air Force Base, where she met her husband, Joe.
The couple married in 1952, and Behlau taught in California, Florida, and Georgia until her husband was discharged from the Air Force.
The couple and their son Robert settled in back in Texas, and in 1962, Behlau joined Northside ISD as a first-grade teacher at Thunderbird Hills Elementary School, now Powell Elementary School. From 1972 to 1979 she served as a reading specialist for five elementary schools: Cable, Forest Hills (now Villarreal), Sunset Hills (now Glass), Oak Hills Terrace, and Locke Hill.
Behlau was committed to her students' education and literacy because she knew it was their ticket to success. She also developed the Trailblazer Citizenship Program to teach children skills needed to be a productive and vocal citizen.
Behlau was equally dedicated to her fellow teachers, who admired Behlau for her legendary work ethic, her leadership skills, and her successful efforts to involve parents at her schools.
She moved into school administration in 1979 as vice principal at Boone Elementary School and then opened Timberwilde Elementary School as principal in 1980.
After a decade at Timberwilde, Behlau retired from Northside in 1989, but her contributions to the District only grew greater.
To help keep NISD retirees connected and informed, Behlau worked with the Partnerships Department to start the In Touch newsletter and the annual retiree luncheon.
Behlau combined her love of history and education and wrote the history of Northside ISD in 2000 to celebrate the District's 50th anniversary. It remains the go-to source for NISD history and heritage.
At the same time, she also co-founded the NISD School Museum Association, whose mission is to celebrate and preserve the District's history and honor alumni. Behlau served as president of the organization from 2000 to 2004.
Since retirement, Behlau's love of teaching did not wane. She supervised student teachers at Southwest Texas State, taught reading courses through North East ISD's Community Education program, and started her own reading clinic at her home.
Both the San Antonio City Council and Bexar County Commissioners recognized Behlau for her outstanding community service, which also included a term as President of the Northern Hills Homeowners Association.
In 2005, she moved back to her hometown to teach a Bible class, write a monthly column for the Lampasas Dispatch-Record and serve on the Board of Directors of Preservation Lampasas. She passed away on Dec. 17, 2017.