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Coordinates: 29°41′32″N 95°28′09″W 29.6921444, -95.4692334


Bellaire High School

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      • 5100 Maple, Bellaire, Texas, United States of America
    • Telephone Numbers: 713-295-3704
    • Official Website: [1]
  • History & Memorable Moments

The school opened in November 1955 (as Bellaire Senior High), when many neighborhoods in close proximity to the school were newly-developed post–World War II communities. Bellaire's first principal was Harlan Andrews, the brother of movie star Dana Andrews. The school was initially all Caucasian; it was desegregated in 1970, bringing in African American students. Demographic shifts continued: in the early 1980s, the percentage of Hispanic students greatly increased. Since 1980s to present, many Asian students are attracted to Bellaire's challenging academic programs each year. 2001 was a turning point in Bellaire history because non-Hispanic white students no longer made up a majority of the student body. As of 2006, European American students are a plurality of the student body. The school celebrated its 50th anniversary on November 4, 2005. [1]

At this point, nearly all of the first-generation teachers (who came to the school in late 1950s and 1960s) at Bellaire High School have retired, though many had very long and illustrious careers. One of the most notable was Alice Johnsen, who taught from the school's founding in 1955 until 2005, the longest term a teacher has ever served in the school's history. Johnsen was the AP Chemistry teacher and the Science Department Chair for many years before she retired. She used to work for the College Board and helped write many AP and SAT II Chemistry questions. Before 2002, she flew to Princeton, New Jersey to grade the AP Chemistry free response questions every summer. In the past decade, she had guided students 5 times to be United States National Chemistry Olympiad finalists and 2 times to International Chemistry Olympiad awards. In the International competition, the students won a silver and a bronze medal. Johnsen is now a legend at Bellaire High School. [1]

There are several recent improvements on the infrastructures at Bellaire. In 2003, the construction of the new auditorium finished. In 2004, each of the two gyms received brand new long benches (financed by a huge donation from an alumnus). In 2005, Bellaire built a college and university information office to help students get information about universities and colleges and to guide them through making their university and college plans. Here are the current floor plans of the first floor, second floor, and third floorof Bellaire High School. [1]

In 2005, about 30 victims of Hurricane Katrina were enrolled at this school. The school is the closest high school to the Astrodome, an area of shelter. Bellaire was unable to take in all of the students in the Astrodome, so enrollment was limited to those hurricane refugees residing in a Bellaire residence. Most students who were in the Astrodome were assigned to other schools. Most of them have returned to New Orleans or intend to do so after the fall semester of 2006. [1]

In 2005, several Bellaire High School students were involved in violent incidents, somewhat hurting the reputation of the school in the local community. In December 2005, two students, Jonathan Finkelman and Desmond Hamilton, were murdered in separate off-campus incidents, and a third shot and injured. In January 2006, a female student was accused of and admitted to killing her mother. On February 24 2006, a stabbing involving two male freshman occurred in a school stairwell. The victim survived the stabbing while the perpetrator was arrested and prosecuted. The attacker was a national of Mexico. The events have triggered HISD schools to review security policies. [1]

On March 20, 2007, Tamara Ryman, 37, a Bellaire High School algebra teacher, was arrested after being found with a 16-year-old male and former student of Ryman's, who was naked from the waist down, in a van. The current charge is trespassing. She was found in a parked van with the boy. When the deputy approached the car, the boy had his trousers lowered, and Ryman had just jumped into the driver's seat, according to police reports [1]

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    • Green, Tom (October 2003 - October 2005)
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