•  Humble ISD History

     1970s Timeline


    FLOPPY DISKS -- Computer floppy disks, the first protable method of storaing data and computer programs, was first introduced.

    VCR -- The Video Cassette Recorder, the first commercial method of recording movies and television shows, went on sale.

    JUMBO JET -- The first jumbo-jet, the Boeing 747, made its debut commercial flight from New York to London. 

    PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPARTMENT -- Humble ISD began a public relations program during the 1970-1971.  Patricia Towns, an English teacher, was given an assignment that consisted of half her working day working on public relations.  She began creating documents that were distributed to the public, which included a newsletter to members of the public that highlighted program in the district, and featured articles written by district administrators.

    Over the next few years, the Public Relations department grew.  Pat Towns was made Director of Communications starting with the 1974-1975 school-year.

    Patricia TOwns Patricia Towns, Director of Communications 1974-1976

    CITIZEN OF THE YEAR -- In January, the Humble Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Humble ISD Superintendent George Turner as the Humble Citizen of the Year for 1969.1

    Citizen of the Year George Turner (right) accepting the Chamber's
    Humble Citizen of the Year award on January 24, 1970

    THE BEATLES BREAK-UP -- The popular band "The Beatles" announceed they had disbanded.

    APOLLO 13 -- NASA's Apollo 13 Moon Mission returned to Earth successfully after abandoning its mission to the Moon after experiencing oxygen tank problems and an explosion.

    KENT STATE SHOOTINGS -- During a mass protest against the bombing of Cambodia, twenty-eight Ohio National Guardsmen fired 67 rounds (over a 13-second period) at protestors at Kent State University.  Four students were killed, and 9 others were wounded.  In reaction to the massacre, students across the United States went on strike, closing more than 450 campuses across the country.

    DESEGREGATION OF TEXAS SCHOOLS -- In November, the chief judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, William Wayne Justice, order the Texas Education System to be responsible for the desegregation of all Texas public schools. While segregated schools had been ruled unconstitutional in the 1950s, many Texas school districts (especially East Texas schools) avoided desegregation by changing school boundaries, and increased busing of students to other schools.  In the United States vs. Texas court case, Chief Justice made TEA responsible for ending these practices. (Note: Schools in Humble had been desegregated since the mid-1960s).

    COMPETITIVE SPORTS FOR GIRLS -- There had been a Girls Basketball Team in the Humble Schools since the 1910s, and as late as the 1950s.  While boys could compete in football, baseball, basketball, golf track and tennis, by the beginning of the 1969-1970 school year the only competetive sports that girls could participate in at high school was tennis.  Parents began to quiz the district administration about this issue, and girls sports were slowly added to the high school curriculum.

    An intramural girls basketball team was added during PE for the 1970-1971 school-year, but it wasn't until 1971-1972 that a true sport for girls was added that allowed for competition with schools in other districts: volleyball. Girls Swim, Girls Track and Girls Golf were included for 1974-1975, Girls Cross Country and Girls Water Polo added for 1975-1976, and Girls Basketball was added for the 1977-1978 school-year.


    ADMINISTRATION BUILDING ON MAIN STREET -- Starting in 1965, the district administrators had been using a portion of the Humble High School building as district offices.  However, as the student population grew, those room were needed as classroom space.  The district had made plans to build a new district office on Wilson Road, on the opposite side of the parking lot from Humble High School, in early 1970.  Architects desgiend the building, and even solicited bids for the building.  All of the bids came back over the original estimate.  About the time that new bids were going to be sent out, a school board election was held, and two new members joined the board.

    After that, the school board decided that it would be more prudent to renovate an exisitng building.  In January, the district moved administrative offices to 219 Main Street. This building had been previously been used as the home of the Humble State Bank.  

    Interior picture of the main room of the Admin Bldg on Main Street The main room of the Administration Building on Main Street, prior to opening.

    FIRST SCHOOL IN KINGWOOD -- The first school to open in Kingwood, Foster Elementary School, opened midway through the school year on January 18, 1971. James W. Towns was the Principal.

    A dedication ceremony for Foster Elementary was held on May 24, 1971.

    Picture of the front of Foster Elementary School Foster Elementary School, the first school in Kingwood

    ROBERT CUNNINGHAM BECOMES PRINCIPAL AT HUMBLE EL -- Robert Cunningham, a Social Studies at Humble High School, was hired as the Principal of Humble Elementary School.  Prior to coming to Humble ISD, Mr. Cunningham had been Principal of Crosby High School.

    Picture of Robert Cunningham Robert Cunningham, Principal of Humble Elementary 1971-1992

    VOTING AGE TO 18 -- The U.S. voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 years old when the 26th amendment was ratified.

    WALT DISNEY WORLD -- The Walt Disney World Resort opened in Orlando, Florida.

    MICROPROCESSOR -- The first microprocessor, the 4004, was released by Intel.



    AFRICAN-AMERICAN TEACHER -- Gladys James became the first African American teacher to work in Humble ISD since 1947.  Prior to working in Humble, Mrs. James had taught for 18 years in Edgewood School District in San Antonio, and was Vice Principal at Roosevelt Elementary School in San Antonio.  She moved to Kingwood when her husband began work at Continental Airlines in 1971. She started at Humble Elementary on January 3, 1972, and stayed at that school for 30 years.

    Picture of Gladys James

    Gladys James

    POCKET CALCULATORS -- Pocket Calculators were first introduced in Februay 1972.

    WATERGATE -- The Watergate Scandal began when White House operatives were caught burglarizing the Democratic National Committee. 

    CASEY RIDGE STUDENTS -- In 1967, Humble ISD and New Caney ISD made an agreement to allow students living in Casey Ridge to attend school in New Caney, with Humble ISD paying for their tuition.2 Casey Ridge is a neighborhood in the most northern point in the Humble ISD attendance boundary. 

    In 1972, New Caney ISD ended this practice, and no longer accepted the Casey Ridge students to their school district. The students were then transferred to the Huffman School District, with Humble ISD paying tuition and for transportation costs.3

    PONG -- PONG, the first video game to have commercial success, was released.

    GRADE ALIGNMENT -- Over the years, Humble didn't always have a consistent plan on where to put grades 6, 7 and 8.  For many years, grade 8 was housed with the high school students.  It was also not uncommon for the 6th graders to be housed with the elementary students.  In the late 1960s, grades 6-8 were housed at Charles Bender Intermediate School, although some parents were not happy about 6th grade being separated from the elementary grades.  After many months of debate, and looking at the issue with committees of parents, community members and teachers, Humble ISD adopted the "middle school plan," where grades 6, 7 and 8 were housed together in a campus seperate from the elementary grades (K-5), and the high school grades (9-12).4  Humble ISD still follows this alignment of grades.

    HUMBLE MIDDLE SCHOOL OPENS -- Since the opening of Humble School on Wilson Road in 1965, students in grades 6-8 had been housed at Charles Bender Intermediate School (located inside the old Charles Bender High School building).  In August 1972, a new campus opened, built specifically for these grade levels.  Humble Middle School was built on property next to Humble High School on Wilson Road.  When Humble Middle School opened, it used the tri-mester plan, instead of the semester plan Humble ISD currently uses.5

    WOMAN SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT -- In April 1972, Louise Panzarella began her service as President of the Humble ISD School Board; the first woman to serve in that capacity.

    GENDER EQUALITY IN EDUCATION -- President Richard Nixon signed Title IX, a federal civil rights law, as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. The immediate in Texas schools was the addition of more sports for girls.  However, over the next few years, Title IX would be used to address inequal ways teen girls were being treated in the school systems.

    HBO -- The first U.S. cable subscription service, HBO, began.

    ALLEN BOREN GOES TO SAM HOUSTON STATE -- Humble High School head football coach Allen Boren was named as the head football coach at Sam Houston State University.  Boren had coached in Bellville, Edna and Humble with a win-loss record of 94-48-1.  After two losing seasons at Sam Houston (1972, 1973), Boren left SHSU and became the Director of Athletics for Klein ISD.  He stayed in that position for 17 years before retiring in 1991.


    BILINGUAL EDUCATION -- The Texas Legislature initiated the Bilingual Education and Training Act.  This act required districts to provide bilingual instruction in schools that had twenty or more children with limited English-speaking skills.

    HUMBLE MIDDLE SCHOOL DEDICATION  -- A dedication ceremony for the new Humble Middle School campus was held on March 8, 1973. 

    SKYLAB -- Skylab, America's first Space Station, was launched.

    $20 MILLION BOND -- The district passed a $20 million school bond on May 19, 1973.  520 citizens (69.5%) voted for the bond, with $228 citizens voting against the bond.

    BATTLES OF THE SEXES -- Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match. 

    ENERGY CRISIS -- In October 1973, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) announced an embargo of oil against the United States for their support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War.  This led to the rationing of gasoline in the United States, such as the odd-even rationing (where cars with an odd number on their license plate could only purchase gas on odd days during the week). In another step to conserve fuel, over the next few years, the United States government lowered the speed on roads to 55 miles per hour.

    School districts (including Humble) complied by taking steps, such as curtailing student trips and limiting the number of buses during extra-curricular activities. 

    Gas Lines

    Cars waiting in long lines for gasoline during the energy crisis


    AGNEW RESIGNS -- Spiro Agnew, U.S. Vice-President, resigned

    SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS -- Prior to the early 1970s, many school districts either refused enrollment to, and did not adequately serve children with disabilities.  In 1973, Congress passed Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which required states and educaiton agencies receiving federal funds to end discrimination in offering services to persons with disabilities.  Humble ISD increased the size of its Special Services Department to be able to serve more children with disabilities as they enrolled and were identified.

    MARINER 10 -- The Mariner 10 space probe wass launched by NASA and became the first spacecraft to study Mercury. 

    CLASSROOM INNOVATIONS -- For the start of the 1973-1974 school-year, Humble High School built an outdoor classroom (also called the Environmental Study Area). It was an innovative concept for the time, and was chosen as a display for the National Soil Conservation meeting in Houston in February 1974. 

    The 1970s was a time of experimentation in the classroom to increase student engagement, including the use of audiovisual aids, closed-circuit television, team teaching, nongraded schools, accelerated classes, and electronic laboratories.


    ADMINISTRATION BUILDING ON HIGGINS STREET -- The district renovated the old Charles Bender High School building on Higgins Street to serve as the new district administration building.  Administrative staff moved in during January. That would serve as the location of the administration building for the next 18 years.

    4 BILLION POPULATION -- The world's population reacher 4 billion people.

    HANK AARON -- April 8th Hank Aaron hit home run 715 to pass Babe Ruth as the all time home run hitter in Major League Baseball.(April)

    BAR CODE -- The UPC Bar Code was introduced. (June)

    HUMBLE PTA ANNIVERSARY -- THe Humble pTA celebrated it's 50th anniversary with a celebration and open house at Humble High School on October 21st.

    PREGNANT TEACHERS -- Prior to 1974, it was common practice for a district to force a teacher to go on leave once before she started to show in her pregnancy.  Many times, this leave was for a year (and upaind).  In Cleveland Board of of Education v. LaFleur, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that such practices were unconstitutional.

    NIXON RESIGNS -- U.S. President Richard Nixon resigned from office after being implicated in the Watergate Scandal, and Gerald Ford became president. (August)


    END OF VIETNAM WAR -- The Vietnam War ended. (April)

    MICROSOFT -- Bill Gates and Paul Allen created Microsoft. (April)

    WIMBLEDON COLOR BARRIER -- Arthur Ashe became the first black man to win Wimbledon. (July)

    FEES -- Humble had been charging students for fees related to certian courses.  These fees were for Drivers Ed courses, participation in certain extra-curricular activities, etc.  Humble was not alone; this was a common practice among school districts at the time.  An opinion by the Texas Attorney General, John Hill, in October put an end to this practice,  and left Humble and the other school districts looking for ways to cover these fees without charging students.

    IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT! -- The popular late-night sketch show, Saturday Night Live, aired for the first time. (October)

    PREGNANT STUDENTS -- For decades, schools across the country denied education to pregnant students.  Once it was known that a student was pregnant, she was suspended from school.  The common excuse was that this was to prevent her pregnancy from influencing other students.  With the advent of Title IX (gender equality in education), this practice was challenged.  Before the end of the decade, the U. S. Government provided rules and regulations that ended this practice.  Schools were now required to allow pregnant girls to continue in their school, or to attend an alternative school (or home schooling) at the student's discretion.

    WOODLAND HILLS ELEMENTARY OPENS -- The second school in Kingwood, Woodland Hills Elementary, opened in November 1975. Dr. Jane Schneider was the Principal.


    WOODLAND HILLS DEDICATION -- A dedication ceremony for Woodland Hills Elementary was held on March 16, 1976.

    APPLE -- Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created the Apple Computer Company.(April)

    NADIA -- Nadia Comaneci was given seven perfect Tens at the Olympics.(July)

    SPACE SHUTTLE -- NASA introduced the first space shuttle, the Enterprise. (September)

    MUPPET SHOW -- The Muppet Show premiered in September. 

    CARTER BECOMES PRESIDENT -- The Democratic candidate, Jimmy Carter, defeated Republican incumbent Gerald Ford to win the U.S. Presidential race. (November)


    ELVIS DIES -- Elvis Presley was found dead at home in August.

    BEAR BRANCH ELEMENTARY -- Bear Branch Elementary opened midway through the 1977-1978 school year, in February 1978, with Carolyn Clapp as Principal.

    PANAMA CANAL -- Control of the Panama Canal was returned to Panama from the United States.

    KINGWOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL -- Kingwood Middle School, the first middle school n the Kingwood area, opened for the 1977-1978 school-year with Andrew Wells as Principal.

    $40 MILLION BOND ELECTION -- The district held a schoolhouse bond election for $40,000,000 on December 3, 1977. The bond passed with 850 (86.7%) voting for the bond, and 130 voting against it.


    FM 1960 BYPASS -- The FM 1960 BYPASS, which goes over Highway 59/69, was opened in 1978.

    ELM GROVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL -- Elm Grove Elementary School opened midway through the 1978-1979 school-year, on December 8, 1978, with Ruth Binkley as Principal.

    GARFIELD -- The very first "Garfield" comic strip debuted in 41 U.S. newspapers.

    YEAR-ROUND SCHOOL -- Humble ISD seriously looked at year-round schooling as a way to save on the escalating construction costs the district was facing. In the end, Humble didn't initiate a year-round school schedule because it was such a new concept, the State Legislature didn't have any methods or administraitve procedures to work with it.

    TEST TUBE BABY -- Louise Brown, the very first test tube baby, was born in July.

    SPACE INVADERS -- The computer video game Space Invaders was released.


    THREE MILE ISLAND -- The Three Mile Island nuclear incident occured in Pennsylvania in March.=

    FEWER TEXANS -- The rapid growth in the Humble area resulted in an eye-opening demographic change:  In the 1978-1979 graduating class of Humble High School (the only high school in the town), only about 1/3 of the graduates were born in Texas.6

    MARGARET THATCHER -- In May, Margaret Thatcher became first women Prime Minister of Great Britain.

    THE WALKMAN -- The Walkman was introduced by Sony in July.

    THE KING OF POP - Michael Jackson's debut solo album "Off the Wall" was released in August.

    KINGWOOD HIGH SCHOOL OPENS -- Kingwood High School, the first high school in the Kingwood area, opened on the first day of school on September 4, 1979 with Andrew Wells as Principal.

    IRANIAN HOSTAGES -- Iranian students take American hostages in Tehran in November. 

    OAKS ELEMENTARY OPENS -- Oaks Elementary opened in the Atascocita area midway through the 1979-1980 school year, on December 16, 1979, with Dr. Jane Schneider as Principal.

    HIGH TEACHER TURNOVER -- As Humble moved from the 1970s into the 1980s, it was still dealing with excessive teacher turnover.  While salaries had increased the past few years, Humble ISD had a 17% turnover rate due to low salaries and not enough teacher input into the curriculum.

    HIGH ENROLLMENT FOR THE 1970s -- The 1979-1980 school-year was the highest enrollment year for the 1970s:  10,242 students were enrolled in the Humble schools that year.  The lowest enrollment year of the 1970s was the 1970-1971 school-year, with just 2,592 students. Enrollment in the Humble schools increased each year in the 1970s.   This decade has the greatest percentage of growth, ending the decade 395% over enrollment at the beginning of the decade.

     - Dr. Robert Meaux
    Last updated on 06/19/2018 3:57 PM

    1 Humble Echo, 01/29/1970  

    2 Humble ISD School Board Minutes, 06/06/1967

    3 Humble ISD School Board Minutes, 04/17/1973

    4 Humble ISD School Board Minutes, 03/27/1972

    5 Humble ISD School Board Minutes, 04/11/1972

    6 HISD's TUrner recalls decade of school district growing pains, NEWS MESSENGER, 12/30/1979