School spirit & history
- Practice good manners
- Always follow directions
- Work efficiently
- Show respect
30 years of Walnut Glen Academy
Walnut Glen Elementary School became a magnet school (Walnut Glen Academy) for academically gifted and artistically/musically talented students in the Fall of 1988.
Dr. Larry Allen was hired as the first principal of WGA. His specialty was in gifted /talented education. He hired his own specialized staff at the start of the magnet program.
Walnut Glen had not one, but two Assistant Principals in 1988 – Mrs. Janette Williams and Ms. Susan McDaniel.
At that time, 70% of the student population was academically gifted and/or artistically/musically talented. 30% of the student population came from the surrounding neighborhood.
The only elementary schools in GISD with an art offering for students at this time were Kimberlin, Walnut Glen and Hillside Academies. These schools also provided an enriched art and music program for students skilled in art and music. In those days, 4th and 5th grade students were given two classes of art and two classes of music each week. Talented students were provided an additional third enriched art/music class.
Dr. Allen was later followed by principals Mr. John Drummond, Mrs. Sylvia McCloskey, Mr. Alex Rivera and the present principal, Mrs. Lisa Alexander respectively.
The original school began with the “pod concept”. The classrooms contained accordion style walls so that the concept of “open teaching” could be utilized. An additional wing to house a gym and classrooms was built in 1979. The present 4th and 5th grade hallway was built after the school became an Academy.
Extended Day programs have always been a part of the Academies, offering after school programs for students.
Under the direction of Mrs. McCloskey, WGA was provided a second computer lab.
In the fall of 2000 WGA was awarded a Garland Education Foundation “Grants to Teachers” grant to introduce digital art to the student population using state-of-the-art technology as part of its art program.
In 2001, WGA was awarded an Instructional Improvement Initiative Grant and was provided surplus funds by both the GISD Technology department and Fine Arts department to equip the new computer lab with WACOM technology as well as the ability to print art work so that students could create digital art. Students have been creating original, digitally mastered art ever since.
- Walnut Glen Academy has been awarded Blue Ribbon School Status three times.
Blue and White