During the Oct. 17 Board of Trustees meeting, Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. Wanda Bamberg and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Archie Blanson announced their retirements, effective at the end of the 2017-18 school year.
Dr. Bamberg is in her 11th year as superintendent and has devoted 36 of her 41 years in education to Aldine ISD.
In her letter to the Board, she thanked them for their support during her tenure as AISD’s superintendent.
“It has been my honor to serve as Aldine ISD’s superintendent for the last 10 years. I have been blessed with the support of an outstanding school board with a focus on students,” she said in her letter. “I have had the honor of working with an experienced administrative team, the cabinet, whose expertise and commitment, have allowed me to do my job well. I have also enjoyed the incredible support of great instructional and operational leaders throughout the district. As a team, we have accomplished good things for Aldine ISD students.
“This year, 2017-18, marks for me 41 total years of service, 36 years in Aldine and 11 as superintendent of schools. The 2018-19 school year marks the beginning of new opportunities for Aldine ISD, so with a grateful heart, I am submitting my letter of retirement from the district at the end of this school year. I am committed to ensuring that all our plans are in place to ensure the bright future we envision for each and every Aldine student and staff member.”
Board President Dr. Viola M. Garcia thanked Dr. Bamberg for her years of dedicated service to Aldine ISD.
“Forty-one years in education is a remarkable accomplishment,” Dr. Garcia said. “You served our district many years in a leadership role and you have taken our district to a new level. I want to sincerely thank you for your years of service.”
Board Vice-President Rose Avalos, who served as an educator in Aldine for 33 years, said Dr. Bamberg’s retirement will leave a void in the district.
“It’s going to be hard for me to let you go,” she said. “We’ve worked together for so many years. You have steered us in the right direction. I’ve learned a lot from you and I will really miss you.”
Board Secretary Steve Mead lauded Dr. Bamberg for her reputation as a leader in curriculum and instruction across the state.
“It has been my pleasure to serve with our superintendent over these last 10 years,” he said. “You are so well respected across the state and we have been fortunate to have you as our superintendent.”
Assistant Board Secretary Paul Shanklin thanked Dr. Bamberg for her vision and leadership.
“The state of the district is strong because of your leadership,” he said.
The two newest board members, Dr. Kimberley Booker and Connie Esparza, said they both learned much about leadership during their time with Dr. Bamberg.
“I’ve been blessed to see up close and personnel what leadership truly is,” Ms. Esparza said. “We’ve only been together a short time (since February 2017), but I’ve learned so much from you.”
“You’ve done a remarkable job as superintendent,” Dr. Booker said. “I only wish we had more time to work together.”
Dr. Bamberg received her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Alabama in 1977, and her master’s degree in secondary education from that same university in 1979. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Sam Houston State University in 2004.
She began her teaching career in the Tuscaloosa County School District in 1977 where she taught junior high and high school English. In 1982, Dr. Bamberg moved to the Houston area and joined Aldine ISD. She was assigned to teach English and reading at Hoffman Middle School. In 1987, she moved to the curriculum department to work with middle school and intermediate school language arts. In January 1997, she was promoted to the position of Director of Curriculum and Instruction and became the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction in 1998. In July 2001, she was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, and she became Superintendent of Schools in June 2007.
Under her leadership, Aldine ISD was awarded the Broad Prize for Urban Education in 2009.
Dr. Bamberg has presented sessions and served as a panelist at numerous conferences and meetings including the National School Board Association (NASB), the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC), the Quality Texas Foundation, NBC’s Education Nation, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum and Development (ASCD), Education Trust, the Institute of Education Services (IES) and various Broad Academies.
Dr. Bamberg serves on the board of the Aldine Greenspoint YMCA, the Quality Texas Foundation, the Equity Center, and All Kids Alliance.
Recent awards include the Dr. John Hoyle Educational Leadership Award from Texas A&M University and the Texas Association of School Administrators. Dr. Bamberg has also received the Outstanding Educator Award by the North Harris County American Association of University Women in the spring of 2011 and was named the Region 4 Superintendent of the Year in 2011. In the spring of 2017, Dr. Bamberg was awarded the Angel Award from the Be An Angel Foundation. The district’s Resource and Staff Development Center will be renamed the Dr. Wanda Bamberg Resource and Staff Development Center.
Dr. Blanson devoted all of his 39 years in education to Aldine ISD. In his letter to the board, he also thanked them for their support.
“I have been honored to have served four superintendents over the course of my career,” he said. “But I would like to extend a very special thanks to Dr. Wanda Bamberg for allowing me to serve as her Deputy Superintendent for the last 10 years. I also would like to thank the Board of Trustees for all of the opportunities given to me to serve the Aldine family. I have enjoyed working with the staff over the years in various capacities, and I will always have a special place in my heart for Aldine ISD. I will miss my coworkers and our workplace a great deal. I wish nothing but the best for this school district in the future.”
Board members also thanked Dr. Blanson for his 39 years of dedicated service to Aldine ISD.
“You have been quite a leader in Aldine in many capacities,” Dr. Garcia said. “You served in so many roles. You have been at the forefront of overseeing our growth and the construction of so many new schools and facilities.”
“You are an honorable man,” Ms. Avalos said. “You have been a problem solver and have always been there for us.”
Mr. Shanklin thanked Dr. Blanson for his leadership in overseeing bond projects for a number of years.
“It has been a joy working with you on the various bond projects we have passed,” he said. “You are well respected and have served this district in so many roles.”
Trustee Patricia Bourgeois thanked Dr. Blanson for being a role model for students.
“I want to thank you for being a role model to young African-American men and students. You are someone people can look up to,” she said.
“I never met a man I respected more than Archie Blanson,” said Mr. Mead. “I am proud to call you my friend.”
During his 39 years in Aldine, Dr. Blanson served as a teacher, assistant director of buildings and properties, director of buildings and properties, executive director of buildings and properties, director of human resources, assistant superintendent of human resources and deputy superintendent.
For the last 10 years, he has overseen the operations department and has been at the forefront in leading the district through growth, change and improvements. He has served on the bond committee for the last five successful bond referendums and has been responsible for the implementations of bond referendums.
In addition to his work in Aldine, Dr. Blanson has supported the community through leadership roles with the Aldine Pathfinders and Gulf Coast Area Boy Scout troops. He served as president of the Gulf Coast Personnel Association and Gulf Coast M&O Association. He is an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and serves on the board of the Quality Texas Award. He served as an adjunct professor for Sam Houston State University, Prairie View A&M University and Texas A&M University. He has won numerous awards including the 2005 Trailblazer Award from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Black Heritage Committee, the 2005 Outstanding Educator Award from the Dean’s Roundtable at Texas A&M University College of Education and Human Development and he was the 2003 Boss of the Year in Aldine ISD. The district’s new career and technical educational high school will be named the Dr. Archie L. Blanson Career and Technical Educational High School.