In naming Pflugerville ISD’s 19th Elementary School, Ruth Barron Elementary School, the district went back to its roots and recognized a homegrown teacher who attended the district’s schools, and who started and ended her teaching career in PISD. The campus, located at 14850 Harris Ridge Blvd., opened its doors to students this school year, and will celebrate with a dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 10 a.m.
The ceremony will include an address from Pflugerville ISD Superintendent of Schools Charles E. Dupre, Barron Elementary Principal José Medina, PISD Board of Trustees Vice President Vernagene Mott, and Edward Mulenex of the Barron Family, as well as a performance by the Barron Elementary Choir.
Barron’s name was nominated by her daughters, Carolyn Barron and Ruth M. Mulenex of Pflugerville, due to her devotion to public education, particularly in Pflugerville ISD.
“Historically, one of the impressive things was that she was born in the district, she was educated in the district, went to college and came back and began her teaching career in the district… and then came back to end her teaching career here,” Mott said during the naming process. “And 39-and-a-half years [teaching] was certainly something to respect.”
Barron was born Feb. 8, 1901 in Travis County to Robert Lee Smith and Flora May Yager Smith. She graduated from Pflugerville High School before attending the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton.
Barron began teaching first grade in Pflugerville ISD while she finished her bachelor’s degree, and from 1922 to 1934 she taught at schools across Central Texas. In 1934 she moved to Burleson County to teach at the Koppe Farm School where she met Tom Joe Barron, a widower with seven children, whom she married in 1939.
Barron and family moved to Sugarland in 1944, but upon Joe Barron’s death in 1951, Ruth moved back to Travis County to live with her mother and her sister. In 1954, she again took a position teaching first grade in PISD where she stayed until she retired in 1963.
During her teaching career in PISD, she taught many of the district’s current residents, including Mayor Pro Tem Victor Gonzales who called Barron a disciplinarian, but said she was very caring to her students.
“[Barron] taught many first graders at Pflugerville ISD a lot more than how to write and read,” Karolyn Pfluger-Graf said in her nomination.