Gary L. Herod Elementary School is located in the Maplewood/Meyerland West area in Southwest Houston. The school is named in memory of Texas Air National Guard Captain Gary L. Herod. Herod Elementary opened in 1965.
Over twenty-five languages are represented by Herod's diverse population. The needs of students are successfully served through the Neighborhood Program, Gifted and Talented Program, Dual Language Program, English As A Second Language Program, resource classes, and speech therapy. Herod houses two Special Education classes for autistic students.
The successful educational programs offered at Herod have drawn many visitors to the school over the years. Herod has received federal and state grants as well as grants from corporations. Teachers participate in a wide variety of professional growth and staff development and also serve as mentors and instructors to other district personnel. In the past, the staff has had partnerships with the University of Houston Department of Education.
The contributions and involvement of parents are instrumental to students’ success. Parents are active volunteers throughout the school and important members of the Shared Decision-Making Committee. The PTO fundraising projects have resulted in many enhancements to the school.
On March 16, 1961, Captain Gary L. Herod of the 182nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Texas Air National Guard had just taken off from Ellington Field. While flying alone in his jet aircraft over the City of Houston, he experienced complete engine failure.
Captain Herod realized that if he ejected himself from the aircraft to save his own life, the jet aircraft would, in all probability, crash into the homes below with catastrophic loss of life and property. Captain Herod remained with his aircraft to guide it through an overcast sky to crash beyond densely populated Houston. In doing so, he heroically sacrificed his life. Captain Herod’s actions were in entire disregard of his person, and in the finest traditions of the Texas Air National Guard and the United States Air Force he so gallantly represented.