By Brandon Dietert
2017 Chair of the Board
Growth: A New Braunfels Tradition
As families in New Braunfels finish up their summer vacations and camps, a familiar sound can be heard throughout Comal County…the sounds of drum cadences, big brass sections and football pads and helmets hitting each other. This can mean only one thing: the beginning of a long and fulfilling football season in South Texas where thousands of local students participate in a tradition that makes Fridays in Texas special. Students learn the definition of hard work thru their many hours of practice and they also see how the community comes together to support them and the schools they attend.
Supporting our children, their schools and the education system as a whole has long been a tradition in New Braunfels going all the way back to when Hermann Seele was asked by Rev. Ervendberg of the German Protestant Church in the summer of 1845 to start teaching 15 children under a group of elm trees at the foot of Sophienburg Hill. This led New Braunfels to establish the first school district in Texas which helped our city put their students ahead of others in the area.
New Braunfels has always been a vibrant and progressive city that has always been looking to the future and the best way to grow and prosper while also celebrating our past and heritage. Our location has led to dynamic growth all the way back to our first years…remember New Braunfels was the 4th largest city in Texas in 1850 when our population was 1,723. Only Galveston, Houston and San Antonio were larger!
Growth in New Braunfels really has been a tradition here since that time, as much as anything else. Our city has always dealt with these growing pains since we became a manufacturing center for Central Texas within a decade of our founding because of our location and water resources.
Did our founding fathers run from this growth? No, they did not! They did their best to develop civic plans that were the best for the community and our residents. New Braunfels has always come together as a city to adapt to the economic and social environment around us. Over the years our city has evolved to deal with changes in our largest industries, changes in the type of government running our city (three different times), growth of our tourism industry and changes in how we educate our children.
A perfect example of New Braunfels evolving is how our education system has grown and changed. With the addition of the Comal ISD in the 1970’s New Braunfels dealt with dividing the support between two different school districts each with their own high school. Both grew and prospered and eventually CISD even added two more high schools which led to more opportunities for our youth and a better education for all.
Now CISD is starting work on two more high schools to better serve our area and educate our youth…and NBISD is discussing options for the growth of the district enrollment over the next twenty years. This growth of our schools is going to lead to many more opportunities for our youth, a better education system and more jobs for our community. Some people don’t like the idea of adding more high schools which they feel hurts the community involvement in the school because they are no longer a Unicorn, Cougar, Hawk or Ranger but something else.
I believe that New Braunfels and Comal County will get behind and support any new school that comes to our area and make them all a success! Because that is what we have always done for over 172 years!