Betty Thomas, the first principal of Galaxy Elementary and a well-known member of the Boynton community for over 60 years, will be honored when the “new” Galaxy Elementary opens its doors in August 2013. As fund-raising efforts continue for the “green” campus, the Historical Society of Boynton Beach has announced it will pay the cost of furnishing the principal’s office and the office will be named after Mrs. Thomas who passed away last summer at the age of 86. “Betty Thomas was one of our most active and dedicated members who often worked on various projects for the Boynton Beach Historical Society. We are so pleased to be able to honor her many contributions,” remarked Boynton Beach Historical Society President, Voncile Smith.
Groundbreaking for the reconstruction of Galaxy Elementary took place last spring and Mrs. Thomas was on hand for the ceremony. As Galaxy Elementary School’s first principal, Mrs. Thomas served there from 1976 to 1987. Mrs. Thomas began her teaching career in Florida at South Grade School. Later, she joined Boynton Beach Elementary, where she eventually became Assistant Principal. She then went on to lead Galaxy and finished her career in education as Principal of Calusa Elementary.
After retiring from the School District in 1993, Mrs. Thomas was involved with various education committees, city government, and community clubs with Galaxy Elementary always one of her top priorities. Galaxy Elementary Principal Joseph Schneider believes Mrs. Thomas would be extremely proud of the new Galaxy, “The school’s goal is to offer incoming PreK-5th graders an amazing educational experience and introduce a lifelong love of learning in all areas, especially in science and math, a goal Mrs. Thomas was committed to each and every day.”
The new replacement school has a LEED Platinum certification target and is designed for a unique E3 “Choice” curriculum in Environment, Energy and Engineering. At the heart of the school’s design is the Wonderment Center, with interactive science exhibits and four skills labs. The “Project Based Learning” curriculum at the new school will prepare students to better compete for college and job choices with above average competency in science, math and technology. Energy, Environment and Engineering will be the focus of the educational program at Galaxy Elementary, with the building itself serving as a “3-D” textbook.
The School District has funded the basic construction of the project with over $22 million. According to Carrie Parker Hill, former School Board member and a Galaxy All Star volunteer, “We are within reach of our goal of raising an additional $1.4 million, allowing for this extraordinary elementary school and a future showpiece for downtown Boynton Beach. Grants from supporters such as the Quantum Foundation, FPL, the Lattner Foundation, the Batchelor Foundation, and the City of Boynton Beach have contributed to this success.”
Mr. Schneider added, “With the generosity of our supporters and the community, Mrs. Thomas’ commitment and dedication to Galaxy will soon be reflected in the joyous faces of every student that attends our new state of the art school.”
Historical Society Trustee and Galaxy All-Star Virginia Farace said “A group of community leaders, the Galaxy All-Stars, has been formed to assist with the project’s fundraising. We encourage other individuals or organizations to memorialize or honor someone with a donation to the project.”
For more information on other naming opportunities or to make a donation please visit the Galaxy Green website at www.galaxygreen.org or contact Principal Joseph Schneider at 561-739-5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org .