On Mathews Elementary’s 100th birthday, alumni go back to school

Pat Cloud shows off her penmanship progress report from the Mathews Elementary in 1943 (Julie Karam/KXAN)
Pat Cloud shows off her penmanship progress report from the Mathews Elementary in 1943 (Julie Karam/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The windows and original wooden floors remain, but much has changed in the now 100-year history of Mathews Elementary School in Austin’s Clarksville neighborhood.

Grace Martino-Brewster, principal of Mathews, said it’s hard to put into words what the anniversary means for the community.

“A celebration of a hundred years of teaching and learning and serving the students of Austin is powerful and I’m just so honored to be a part of that,” Martin-Brewster said.

Alumni, past parents, teachers and staff gathered at the school Friday, looking at old photos and mementos.

“The physical building itself hasn’t changed too much,” the principal says, with the exception of the new paint job every now and then and the technology upgrades the school has received.

Pat Cloud goes through Matthews Elementary School photos. Sept. 23, 2016 (KXAN Photo)
Pat Cloud goes through Mathews Elementary School photos. Sept. 23, 2016 (KXAN Photo)

Pat Cloud, who attended the school from 1940 to 1945, is on the planning committee and helped set up the school’s 90th birthday. Twelve of Cloud’s classmates attended that celebration. None were able to make it Friday, a result of bad health and age, Cloud says.

On the subject of today’s round of Mathews students, she says they’re “awesome.”

“It is so wonderful to see such an integrated school, because of course it wasn’t in 1940. We didn’t have any another ethnic groups,” Cloud said.

A plaque recognizing Mathews’ inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places was presented to the school.

Mathews Elementary was named for Dr. William J. Mathews an original Austin school board member.

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