By Vickie Middlebrooks
Special to the Delray Beach Tribune
BOYNTON BEACH – Betty Thomas, the first principal of Galaxy Elementary and a well-known member of the Boynton Beach community for more than 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 died last summer at age 86.
“Betty Thomas was one of our most active and dedicated members who often worked on various projects for the Boynton Beach Historical Society,” said Voncile Smith, president of the Boynton Beach Historical Society. “We are so pleased to be able to honor her many contributions.”
Groundbreaking for the reconstruction of Galaxy Elementary took place last spring and Mrs. Thomas attended the ceremony. Mrs. Thomas served as Galaxy’s first principal from 1976 to 1987. She 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.
Joseph Schneider, principal of Galaxy Elementary, thinks Mrs. Thomas would be extremely proud of the new school.
“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,” he said
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, with the building itself serving as a “3-D” textbook.