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Mathews and Metz Elementary Schools Celebrate 100 Years

Join the Austin History Center for the schools’ birthday celebration

The 100th Birthday Celebration committees for Mathews and Metz elementary schools, The Austin History Center and Austin ISD invite the public to a joint reception in honor of the schools’ centennial birthdays. 

Who: Director of Education at KLRU Benjamin Kramer will emcee. Choir members from Metz and Mathews will sing.

Speakers include

  • former AISD Superintendent Pat Forgione,
  • UTeach Institute Director Kimberly Hughes,
  • professor and Mathews alum Robert Bode,
  • Metz alum Danny Camacho; and
  • AISD 2011 Teacher of the Year Caroline Sweet. 

What: The program covers the histories of the schools and the future of education in Austin. The program is held in conjunction with the Austin History Center’s exhibit, Making the Grade: Austin’s First Public Schools. The exhibit explores the difficulties Austin faced in establishing a free public schools system, in the 1870s, and what life was like as a student and teacher in the early years of the Austin Public Schools before the creation of AISD in the 1950s. Alleviating overcrowding in schools, using public money to send children to private schools and preventing children from dropping out of school may seem like modern issues in education but these same concerns have been facing Austin since the late 1800s.

There will be time to view the exhibit during the reception. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. The exhibit continues though March 27.

When: 6:30–8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12 

Where: Austin History Center, 810 Guadalupe St. 
Benjamin Kramer
Kramer has 20 years experience as an educator, from early childhood to doctoral studies. In his position at KLRU, Kramer is responsible for providing vision and leadership for the PBS station’s community educational initiatives. Kramer holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a master’s degree from Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin. He has been principal or assistant principal at several schools, including the University of Texas Elementary Charter School, AISD’s International High School, Mathews and Hill elementary schools.

Pascal “Pat” D. Forgione
Forgione served for as AISD’s superintendent for 10 years. He was chronicled by Stanford University Professor Larry Cuban in, “As Good As It Gets: What School Reform Brought to Austin.” In 2008, he received the Richard R. Green Award as the National Urban Educator of the Year from the Council of the Great City Schools. He earned a doctorate in administration and policy analysis and a master’s degree in Urban History from Stanford University; and a master’s degree in educational administration from Loyola College.

Kimberly Hughes
Hughes oversees national expansion of the UTeach secondary science, technology, engineering and math teacher preparation program at the University of Texas at Austin. Hughes expanded the work of the UTeach Institute to address national STEM education challenges. She founded the UTeach STEM Educators Association, a professional association dedicated to developing STEM literacy for all students through innovation and excellence in university-based teacher education. In 2015, she launched a national UTeach computer science education initiative. Hughes began her career in education as a high school science teacher.

Robert Bode
Bode is professor of choral music and director of choral activities at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He also previously served on the faculty at Whitman College. Bode is the artistic director of the award-winning choral arts chamber chorus in Seattle. He has commissioned more than 50 works from American composers. Bode’s mother, Mayna Irene Fain Bode, was the principal of Mathews Elementary School in the 1960s. Bode attended Pease and Mathews elementary schools, and graduated from Austin High School in 1975.
Danny Camacho
Camacho grew up across the street from Metz Elementary School, where he started first grade in 1951. His mom Lorraine was known as “Grandma” Camacho, and she worked in the Metz cafeteria. She continued to volunteer at Metz after she retired. She lobbied for Metz to be rebuilt, leading to a successful bond program in 1990 to build a new school building. A city recreation center named for her is a few blocks away from the school. She kept scrapbooks on the history of Metz, including her family’s involvement with the school dating to 1919. Danny Camacho is a volunteer with the Austin History Center and Save Austin’s Cemeteries, and leads tours at the historic Oakwood Cemetery.

For more information please call 512-974-7480 or visit