Lee Elementary, serving students from the Hyde Park, Hancock, North University and Eastwood neighborhoods, celebrated its 75th anniversary on the Lee campus on October 2. With an attendance of about 600 current, former, and future Lee students, families, and staff, the celebration was a resounding success.
During the two-hour event, alumni from the 1940s up through the 2010s roamed the school’s hallways, checking out old classrooms and viewing yearbooks and artifacts from each decade. Visitors could also view art work from current students that depicted important people and events over the past 75 years.
Outside, under the Live Oaks, current Lee parents and Texas musicians, Bruce Robison and Hayes Carll, played a small concert as people of all ages gathered, reconnected, and reminisced about their time at Lee. Local food trucks sold food and visitors were treated to a Lee-themed anniversary cake by Lee parent Paloma Efron of Coco Paloma Desserts, French macarons by Lee parent Tracey Cole of Cookie Peace, and dark chocolate truffle lollipops by Lee parent Steve Lawrence of the Chocolate Makers Studio.
Current Lee principal John Hewlett, PTA president Kim Brackin, past president of the Lee PTA and Austin Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, and former Lee principal Mary Lou Clayton, who served Lee for 22 years, spoke at the event and talked about what makes Lee a special place.
Robert E. Lee was built in 1939 among large, old Live Oak trees on Waller Creek, three blocks north of the University of Texas campus. The first students attended Lee in September of 1939. It was the first AISD School fueled by natural gas instead of coal.
Over the years several renovations and additions have been completed for the Lee campus. The fact that Lee is bounded by Waller Creek means that expansion in portable buildings has not been an option, so the school has remained small. Currently, Lee serves around 400 students.