HISTORY: Carverdale School remembered for excellence in the Cy-Fair community

Carverdale School served African-American students in the Cy-Fair area from 1925-1967.

Carverdale School served African-American students in the Cy-Fair area from 1925-1967.

Image description

Carverdale—the Cy-Fair ISD school that once served as a school for African-American students before desegregation—started out as a one-room Tanner Road farmhouse donated in 1925 by a German dairy farmer.

The site initially served as both the Greater Macedonia Baptist Church and the first school for students living in the Carverdale community.

Fairbanks Colored School was moved to Dancy Road the following year in 1926, where it served 19 students in first through sixth grades. Lacy Houston and Melissa Depot taught in the school’s first and second years, respectively. Clara Scott would serve as the sole teacher from 1928-1951.

E.S. Waddy became the school’s first principal in 1951, the same year the school’s name changed to Fairbanks Elementary School. Four years later, the school expanded to offer a library, band hall, choir room, and 11 teachers.

By 1956, the school evolved to serve grades 1-12, and was renamed to Carverdale School. Under the leadership of Principal W.M. Batts, the school board approved a land purchase to expand the campus to 25 acres.

A new wing offered a home economics department, an auto mechanics shop, a science lab and later a gymnasium. Along with Bane and Lamkin elementary schools, Carverdale was one of three CFISD schools to utilize an open-concept model.

Teachers were known for encouraging students to attend colleges such as Prairie View A&M College and Texas Southern University after graduation. They were also committed to offering a range of extracurricular activities, including student council, National Honor Society, yearbook staff, Spanish Club, Future Homemakers of America, Future Teachers of America, choir, band, cheerleading, drill team, football, basketball, baseball and track.

Coach Tommy Johnson recruited basketball players such as Robert Santee from Houston to play for the Carverdale team. Santee helped the Carverdale Cobras clench two consecutive state titles in 1965 and 1966.

Santee was later drafted by the Houston Astros, but he said his best memory was being named to the Prairie View Interscholastic League Hall of Fame for his time at Carverdale.

“Probably ’63 to ’66 was the best memories I ever had in life because, when I arrived at Carverdale, they didn’t have anything in the trophy case,” Santee said. “The Astros was just something I did, but high school is what I think about from time to time.”

By the time the U.S. Department of Justice mandated desegregation in 1967, 800 students were enrolled at Carverdale. After the school board voted to close the school on Aug. 3, 1970, the Houston Community College System used the campus for several years. It has since been demolished, and the area is now home to industrial warehouses.

Santee, who still lives in the Houston area, said he continues to encourage students to work hard toward their goals like he did during his time at Carverdale. On Feb. 13, he received a proclamation from Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office honoring him for his work with at-risk youth.

“I work with troubled kids because I went through some trouble,” he said. “I tell my grandkids, ‘Whatever you participate in, be the best you can be in it. If you feel you’re the best in something, don’t ever let them take that from you.’”
By Danica Lloyd

Editor, Cy-Fair

Danica joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2016. As editor, she continues to cover local government, education, health care, real estate, development, business and transportation in Cy-Fair. Her experience prior to CI includes studying at the Washington Journalism Center and interning at a startup incubator in D.C., serving as editor-in-chief of Union University's student magazine and online newspaper, reporting for The Jackson Sun and freelancing for other publications in Arkansas and Tennessee.


School supplies will be exempt from the 8.25% sales tax Aug. 6-8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
What to know before the statewide tax-free weekend Aug. 6-8

Customers will not have to pay the standard 8.25% sales tax on select clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks under $100.

Louetta Automotive Sports Complex will host students from the PSAT academy. (Courtesy Pexels)
Prep Student Athlete Training Academy launching soon in Cy-Fair

The academy educates student-athletes and helps prepare them for their post-graduate careers.

Main Chick Hot Chicken opened its first brick-and-mortar location July 23 in Sugar Land. (Courtesy Main Chick Hot Chicken)
Main Chick Hot Chicken opens in Sugar Land; Urban Bird Hot Chicken coming to Cy-Fair and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news for the Houston area, including two new chicken restaurants.

The meals will be available at no cost for all students with zero requirements for qualification. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harmony Public Schools to offer free meals to all students

The meals will be available at no cost for all students with zero requirements for qualification.

Shop Texas Boutique is opening its first storefront July 31. (Courtesy Shop Texas Boutique)
Shop Texas Boutique to hold Cy-Fair grand opening

The "Christmas in July"-themed grand opening is scheduled for this weekend.

Houston-area residents will be able to apply online for a one-time payment of $1,500 from July 28-Aug. 11. (File photo)
$30M COVID Relief Fund opens for Harris County residents as eviction moratorium ends

Sourced by funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, eligible residents will receive a one-time payment of $1,500 to support urgent needs.

The Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve will break ground on a new expansion project in September. (Emily Jaroszewski/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve in Harris County breaking ground on new project in September

Construction of new pedestrian trails is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2022.

Pride Houston Parade
Pride Houston fall parade and festival canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

The downtown annual parade and festival, scheduled for Sept. 25, will be replaced by a Montrose block party and other events, organizers announced July 25.

The CDC reversed its masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals in response to the transmissibility of the delta variant of COVID-19 in a press conference July 27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
NEW CDC GUIDANCE: All individuals should wear masks in K-12 schools, including those who are fully vaccinated

The new CDC guidance, announced July 27, also recommends people in areas with "high" or "substantial" levels of transmission wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

Urban Bird Hot Chicken is coming soon to the Cy-Fair area. (Courtesy Urban Bird Hot Chicken)
Urban Bird Hot Chicken adding new location in Cy-Fair

The restaurant serves Nashville-style hot chicken in sandwiches, tenders and fries.

Bel Furniture has purchased the former location of Star Furniture. (Courtesy Baker Katz)
Bel Furniture buys former Star Furniture property in Willowbrook area

The 60,935-square-foot store sits on 2.38 acres near Willowbrook Mall.

Raising Cane's is opening two new locations in the Cy-Fair area by the end of the year. (Courtesy Raising Cane's)
Raising Cane's opening two locations in Cy-Fair area

Raising Cane's is opening two new locations in the Cy-Fair area by the end of the year.