Shortly after Comal ISD celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006 the school district started to grow in a hurry.
Despite the fact most of the state saw growth level off from 2006-2012, Comal ISD’s enrollment grew from approximately 13,300 students in 2006 to 18,650 by the end of the 2012-13 school year – an increase of more than 40 percent.
An increase in student population meant the need for new schools, and thanks to the $189 million bond issue passed by voters in 2005 and the $205.85 bond issue passed in 2008, Comal ISD was able to meet those growth demands.
In just eight years, Comal ISD more than doubled the amount of schools in the district, increasing from 13 to 28.
In fact, there are now more elementary schools (18) in Comal ISD than there were elementary, middle and high school campuses when the district celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006.
Thanks to Bond 2005, Comal ISD was able to build not only the six elementary schools it promised, but also two additional elementary schools thanks to strong fiscal management.
Clear Spring, Freiheit, Johnson Ranch, Morningside, Oak Creek, Rahe Bulverde, Startzville and Timberwood Park elementary schools were all built as a result of Bond 2005. Rahe Bulverde has had a school in Comal ISD since the 1960s, but thanks to Bond 2005, the district was able to build its students a beautiful brand new two-story campus, which was dedicated in 2010.
In addition, Bond 2005 helped convert Arlon Seay Intermediate into Arlon Seay Elementary. Mountain Valley School, which at the time was a PreK-6th grade campus, was converted into Mountain Valley Middle School, and Canyon Intermediate became Church Hill Middle School after receiving a campus renovation.
Bond 2005 helped implement the district’s vision that all Comal ISD schools be grades K-5 at the elementary level, grades 6-8 at the middle level and grades 9-12 at the high school level.
Bond 2005 also allowed Comal ISD to purchase 65 new buses and $6.9 million in land for future campus sites, and also upgrade district technology. Air conditioning was added to all middle school gyms. It also included major renovations at Smithson Valley Middle and Goodwin Frazier Elementary, and campus upgrades at Comal, Rebecca Creek, Specht, Hoffmann elementary schools, Canyon and Spring Branch middle schools, and Canyon, Smithson Valley, and Memorial high schools.
In 2007, Comal ISD added its third comprehensive high school, Canyon Lake High, which was part of the 1999 Bond package. It helped alleviate overcrowding at Smithson Valley High School.
Bond 2008 included Garden Ridge Elementary, which replaced Comal Elementary, Kinder Ranch Elementary, and Indian Springs Elementary. Comal ISD’s newest campus, Mountain Valley Elementary, which will open in August, was paid primarily for by the district’s fund balance. All four campuses include “green school” features such as a living roof that not only cools the building but is also a place where teachers can assign science experiments, skylights which provide natural lighting in the library and hallways, rainwater harvesting silos with on-site storage, an energy conservation system that automatically adjusts lighting in the classroom, and a geothermal heating and cooling system.
Bond 2008 also included a total of more than $80 million in upgrades to Smithson Valley and Canyon high schools. The upgrades included more than 50 new classrooms, new performing arts centers, athletic facility additions and expansions, a new culinary arts facility, new science labs and agriculture buildings, and both interior and exterior renovations.
Bond 2008 provided additional renovations at Canyon Lake High, Goodwin Frazier and Specht elementary schools, and the Comal Discipline Center. More than $1 million went toward standardizing elementary playgrounds. More than $8 million was allocated for technology upgrades district-wide, and $16.5 million was used for land purchases for future schools.
In 2010, Alamo Colleges-Memorial Early College High School opened in New Braunfels in partnership with St. Philip’s College in San Antonio. It’s Comal ISD’s alternative high school of choice where students can earn up to 60 college credit hours free of charge in addition to graduating with their high school diploma.
Comal ISD is proud to have been named a Texas Education Association “Recognized” school district in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The school district has also had a record 17 campuses named “exemplary” or “recognized” by the TEA in both 2011 and 2012.
In July 2012, Comal ISD officially hired Andrew Kim as its new superintendent. Kim had spent the previous four years as Manor ISD’s superintendent.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with our selection,” said David Drastata, Comal ISD school board president. “Andrew Kim had everything we were looking for during the hiring process. He has had great success in the Manor ISD, one of the fastest-growing areas in the state. He has a focus on innovative education and the fiscal well being of the district.”
Kim’s focus is on making sure Comal ISD students gain the critical thinking and problem solving skills they will need to be successful employees and citizens.
“We are creating new approaches based on flexibility, high expectations and high standards that offer a blueprint for public education structures of the future,” Kim said.
Kim also said Comal ISD parents, faculty and community members have been the backbone of maintaining a solid foundation in this fast-growing district.
“It’s because of the constant support of our community members, parents and faculty that we are able to continually provide our students with superior learning environments as Comal ISD continues to grow at a rapid rate,” Kim said. “We couldn’t be successful without this team effort.”
Comal ISD celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006. A booklet was produced to commemorate the event. The summary below was written in 2006.
I50th Anniversary Booklet (PDF Version)