School spirit & history

Meet Joyce Marie Giddens-Steadham

Joyce Marie Giddens-Steadham grew up in the Garland Independent School District, attending George Washington Carver Elementary School, Stephen F. Austin Junior High, and graduating from Garland High School in 1972. Influenced by her elementary school teacher Thelma Toney, her lifelong dream was to grow up, get an education, and return to GISD to help the boys and girls in her neighborhood. Once this goal was set, she never wavered from that destination.

She married Arcasano Steadham. Together, they served as "foster parents" to numerous youth in their neighborhood. Joyce's impact as a positive role model to minority youth is beyond measure.

During her 15 year tenure as a teacher in Garland ISD, she taught at Kimberlin and Back Elementary Schools. She was honored as "Teacher of the Year" by her co-workers at Back in both 1989-90 and in 1993-94. A crowning honor came to her when then first lady, Barbara Bush, presented her with the "Thousand Points of Light" award for teaching a student to read against all odds.

Something that set her apart from her peers was the fact that she achieved all these accolades in spite of battling a debilitating illness throughout her life. At the age of three, Joyce was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia. It was with a bittersweet irony that a woman, in whom so many found strength, taught in pain on an almost daily basis.

Joyce Giddens-Steadham departed this world on March 7, 1994. Few, if any, other educators have left a legacy as far reaching and unselfish as Joyce Giddens-Steadham. Against all obstacles, she answered the call "to Teach".

This school stands as a living reminder of the impact that one person can make; the impact of a teacher.

Steadham's history

Joyce Giddens-Steadham opened on Monday, August 9, 1999. Principal BonnieGalvin and Assistant Principal Cheryl Hendersonwelcomed 518 students on the first day. Steadham was designed by the architectural firm of Burleson + Nelson + Shiver architects. The school contains approximately 71,200 square feet of space, and was built at a total cost of $6,836,946.00 (about $96.02 per square foot.) Steadham was the first elementary school with classrooms wired for the Internet during construction.

Steadham keeps it in the family

My name is Barbara Howard. My maiden name is “Key”. I was born in Dallas, Texas and raised in Garland. I am the youngest of ten siblings and I went to through the Garland school system. I am an alumni of GHS “Owls”. I recently remarried over the summer and I live in Mesquite, Texas. I have two wonderful daughters and a lovely grandbaby (boy). I enjoy teaching and teaching and spending time with my family. I would say is my calling. I began working in Garland at Caldwell Elem. in 1995. My assignments ranged from CBSE aide, Pre-K aide, and P.E aide. After considering going back to college to pursue my teaching certification, I went to Texas A&M Commerce. I graduated in 2006 with a B.A in Education. This is my 7th year here at Steadham. I feel so honored to be a part of Joyce’s legacy because she and I are first cousins. My mother’s brother married Joyce’s mother. I have fond memories of Joyce as it appears on the photograph that hangs on her school wall. She had the warmest smile that anyone could ever have. Her love and dedication for all children, truly is an inspiration for me. I am proud to be a Steadham Eagle.

Steadham motto

Steadham Eagles soar on high
The Eagle soars and so do I.

Steadham Elementary school song


We can achieve the very, very best
We work hard to pass each and every test
We work hard to achieve
We work hard and believe.


Joyce Giddens-Steadham
Great teachers teach us

Joyce Giddens-Steadham
Gonna be the best we can be

Joyce Giddens-Steadham
Great parents made us

Joyce Giddens-Steadham
In this land of liberty

Joyce Giddens-Steadham
In this land of liberty

Steadham Eagles are we

Written and arranged by Thomas Warren Giddens

School colors

Maroon and white

School mascot