To coincide with the Friendswood Independent School District’s 75th anniversary in 2015, FISD is preparing for a new space to commemorate and preserve the past. An FISD Museum has been proposed to be located in the old Junior High, at the corner of Laurel and West Spreading Oaks.
The idea was brought to the School Board of Trustees late last year by FISD Superintendent Trish Hanks.
“Friendswood, as a City, has such a rich history. It seems only natural to also collect, organize and display school district-related items for generations to come,” said Hanks.
“The Board said, ‘This sounds like a great idea, a good use for that beautiful old building,’ and right now we are in the ‘thinking stage,’” said Board President Dr. Rebecca Hillenburg. She worked in FISD as a teacher and principal. As the parent of a graduate and grandparent of a “young perspective graduate,” when visiting museums such as Houston’s Children’s Museum, Hillenburg sees engaging ideas that could potentially be considered for the FISD Museum.
“I would like a component that addresses the young child, so that when a family comes through, the museum experience can be just as rich for them as it is the Alum or the community member who is visiting,” Hillenburg said.
One of the early suggestions for organizing the museum is to divide it into various “rooms” representing different themes, such as performing arts, athletics, etc.
Joycina Baker has written extensively about Friendswood history and played a major role in the Frank J. Brown Heritage Museum and Barn project. More recently, the honorary FISD alum was instrumental in the trail of historical markers erected throughout the city and was named the “Official Historian of the City of Friendswood.” Baker called the FISD Museum project, “A big undertaking, but a worthy one,” and is ready to help the endeavor.
FISD alum Sally Branson has already thought about some personal items which could be displayed in the museum. “I’ve got some old cheerleading uniforms left from my years at the High School, so I will probably be donating that,” Branson said. She is encouraging people to begin thinking about their contributions. “We hope that people will start looking through their attics and closets to gather up their memorabilia from their years in the Friendswood Independent School District.”
Branson is a member of the Friendswood Historical Society Board, along with City Councilmember Steve Rockey. The District and Society are working together on the museum project. “The Historical Society is absolutely thrilled that FISD is going to do this. We’ve offered whatever help that they would want,” Rockey said.