Spring Branch ISD Featured News

75th Anniversary Spotlight: Ginger Montgomery serves more than 60 years as a teacher and mentor in Spring Branch ISD


She had one more final before finishing her teaching degree at the University of Texas in early 1958 when she responded – “on a whim” -- to a flier with a list of teacher job openings in Spring Branch ISD in Houston. 

When Ginger Montgomery (formerly Roberson) showed up for an interview at the Driscoll Hotel in Austin, none other than the first superintendent of schools in Spring Branch ISD, Dr. H.M. Landrum, was there to meet with her. She told him she already had an A in the class-yet-to-be-completed, and he accepted that. Two days later, she was hired to work as a first-grade teacher at Housman Elementary, in the 12-year-old school district that was growing by leaps and bounds. Starting salary? $3,600!

Job offer telegram from Superintendent Landrum, January 14, 1958


There was still a lot of undeveloped land in the area at the time, and no Interstate 10. When her father helped her move to Houston and was driving along Katy Road (a precursor to the interstate), he exclaimed, “Your school is in a forest!”

Montgomery recalls with gratitude the experienced teachers at Housman were very welcoming, and they took her under their wings. She worked at Housman under principal Julian Conner for 3.5 years before leaving to start a family. In 1968, she was rehired at Hunters Creek Elementary by principal Mildred Scully when the school needed to split up some over-crowded first grade classes. 

“That was one of the hardest half-years of my career,” she said, noting that neither the students nor parents were happy about losing their familiar teacher. “I really had to prove myself, and by May, everyone was good!”

She stayed at Hunters Creek for the remainder of her career, and retired in 1996 after 32 years of service in Spring Branch ISD. “In all my years here, I can truly say that I was supported, listened to and given opportunities to grow professionally.” She noted that when computers came into the classroom, everyone had to go to training to learn how to use them.

“All my experiences in Spring Branch were so positive,” Montgomery said. “There are so many Hunters Creek graduates who are now leaders – doctors, lawyers, ministers, authors, designers. Seeing my students go on to be successful was very satisfying.” 

When asked what her proudest moment was as a teacher, Montgomery said that seeing a child read for the first time or have a break through with finding a place among peers were “a thrill.”

See a few other photos from Montgomery's career here.

After retiring, Montgomery was looking for a way to get back in a school, which she deems her “happy place.” Through her church, Memorial Drive United Methodist Church (MDUMC), she heard about volunteering as a SpringBoard mentor in Spring Branch ISD, and decided, “This is a good fit for me!” In this program, mentors are trained, then matched with a student “on the brink of success.” 

Montgomery was matched Lizbeth L. when the student was in third grade at Hollibrook Elementary. They met every week during lunch period for eight years and stayed in touch via text messages (due to Covid-19) through the student’s graduation in the top five percent of her class in May 2021. “I had so much faith in her,” Montgomery said with pride. “I encouraged her, went to her games, performances and concerts.”

With encouragement from Montgomery and teachers, and a lot of self-motivation, Lizbeth made good grades, played the French horn, participated in soccer and worked at Denny’s. The mentor and student worked with several teachers to secure a soccer scholarship to Blue Mountain College in Mississippi, where Lizbeth plans to work towards becoming an engineer.

Montgomery’s Sunday school class at MDUMC heard all about Lizbeth’s progress over the years. They collectively donated $500 so the two of them could go to Walmart to buy all the items needed for college. “Lizbeth is thriving at college and having life experiences she has never had before,” Montgomery said. “She is traveling with the soccer team and still keeping her grades up – all while taking 17 credit hours.”

As Spring Branch ISD celebrates its 75th anniversary this school year, we salute people like Ginger Montgomery, who have given a lifetime of service to the district and its students as an employee and volunteer. 

Please share your Spring Branch ISD memories with us at sbisd75@springbranchisd.com.

Visit Spring Branch ISD's 75th Anniversary website here.