In 1935, the Bryan School Board elected to construct a two-room, wooden school building for Spanish-speaking children for grades one through four. The site chosen was on the Joe Batts property along the new route for Highway 21, west of the city. The site in west Bryan was purchased by the city on June 20, 1935. The school was named for Reverend Guillermo Ibarra who served as the first pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista of Bryan from 1922-1929. He believed that education was the key to social development, achievement, and success. During this time schools were segregated and it was often difficult for Hispanic children to get to school because of distance and the lack of transportation. The principal of the Ibarra School was C.M. Bethany. Esther Price and Philippa Stoneham were the first teachers. They could speak both English and Spanish. Students had mixed experiences, from being segregated to being punished for speaking Spanish. Breakfast and lunch for students was provided by the “relief program.” The parent-teacher association was active and put on a spring program where children would sing and dance. Citizenship classes were offered to Latin American residents who desired to become citizens. Boy Scout meetings were held at Ibarra school under the leadership of Pete L. Rodriguez and Manuel Herrera, Sr. On Friday nights, movies were shown outside on the playground for the community. Ibarra Elementary served children from 1935-1949 when it was renamed San Jacinto Elementary and served as a school until 1960. Ibarra Elementary School was located on the current site of Ibarra Park.
Ibarra Elementary School