Our School's History
YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROWEdgar Odell Lovett Elementary School
EDGAR ODELL LOVETT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL was named for the first President and Founder of the Rice Institute, now Rice University. Lovett welcomed its first students on September eighth, 1957 and was dedicated on December ninth of that year. Pauline Davis served as the first principal and remained as such for 16 years, followed by Gene Lasater (for two years) and Joan Cullenane (for three).
In 1978, as the neighborhood grew older and competing private schools began to be established nearby, the Lovett enrollment dropped to fewer than 200 students and HISD considered closing its doors. Parents petitioned the then-Superintendent of Schools, Billy Reagan, to appoint Annie Lee Smith (one of our sixth grade teachers) as the principal. Under her guidance and support, Mrs. Smith and a group of parents, former parents and neighbors, determined to save the school, went door to door recruiting children from all over the city. Mrs. Smith had recently done a neighborhood survey to determine the kinds of educational opportunities local parents wanted for their children, and she knew what to put in place to attract these parents.
The results of this survey led to the addition of two major programs, initiated by appropriate parents: the “Owl’s Nest” Preschool and the Concert Band. Still going strong 39 years later, these two programs and others have helped to draw parents to the school and make it prosper. Vivian Mason, Linda Sternenberg and Eve Juliano, former educators, established the preschool; Ginny Croft, a former music teacher, created the Band program, which she still directs today. Strings, choral and classroom music programs were already in place at that time. By 1982, Lovett had become a Magnet School for Extended Day (for working parents) and Fine Arts, with a full-day Kindergarten and a first rate Visual Arts Curriculum developed by a former parent, Beatrice Graham and had lost the sixth grade to middle school.
Mrs. Smith was promoted to an administrative position after 12 years at the helm and was replaced by Judy Harwell for 14 years and then Susan Monaghan for six. During these years, the Concert Band won district, state and national acclaim, representing Texas by invitation during Washington, D.C.’s Bicentennial Celebration in 2000 and was chosen twice by the Walt Disney Corporation to perform during “Magic Music Days.” The chorus and strings programs also expanded and thrived, and labs for Science, Technology and a Neighborhood Vanguard Program were established.
Lovett today, under Principal Dawn Thompson, offers an exemplary education in Fine Arts, Technology, Health and Fitness, and the core academics, creating well-rounded children for the next generation of effective citizenry. Through our partnerships and grants with the Houston Performing and Visual Arts Community, Museum of Fine Arts, DaCamara, and Young Audiences, we are able to bring in professionals to share with our learners. Our trophy case and shelves are bursting with awards from “Outstanding Musical Performances” (Band, Orchestra and Choir) locally and state-wide, “Name that Book” and various athletic competitions and other events.
The Concert Band currently has earned “Outstanding Performance” honors in HISD and state-wide for 29 consecutive years. Our individual students are active and place well in the Spelling Bee, Science Fair, Art Contests and other such events. Our Student Council (open to all in the upper grades) is extremely involved in community service projects, and students who eat vegetables and fruit at home for a month win a small prize!
The school holds the highest status set by the state of Texas. Lovett’s secret may be its exemplary, cohesive faculty, from the principal down to the custodial staff and cafeteria workers---all caring for the learners entrusted to them and creating a pleasant, optimum learning environment. Since the 2011-2012 school year, we have been in a new expanded facility with dedicated rooms for Band, Orchestra and Classroom Music (which include practice rooms), a state of the art Art Room, a stage and performance areas specifically designed for our 700+ total school Fine Arts Magnet student body. Most recently, Lovett was awarded as a Magnet School of Excellence by Magnet Schools of America and selected as a Blue Ribbon School for 2016.
Lovett's Past Principals
Mrs. Pauline Davis - 16 years (1957-1973)
Mr. Gene Lasater - 2 years (1973-1975)
Mrs. Joan Culanane - 3 years (1975-1978)
Mrs. Annie Lee Smith - 12 years (1978-1990)
Ms. Judy Harwell - 14 years (1990-2004)
Mrs. Susan Monaghan - 6 years (2004-2010)Mrs. Amy Simson - 2 years (2010-2012)Mrs. Dawn Thompson - 2012-Present