Our school opened in August 1989 and was named for Mr. Ed Irons, former superintendent of the Lubbock Independent School District.
Edwin H. Irons was a native of Paducah, Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas Tech University where he was a letterman on the football and basketball teams. His master’s degree in Educational Administration came from the University of Texas-Austin, and Lubbock Christian University conferred upon him the Doctor of Laws degree.
Mr. Irons began his long career in professional education in 1946 as a teacher and coach at Tyler High School. In 1952, he began a series of administrative assignments in Tyler which led to his Principalship of Robert E. Lee Senior High from 1958-1963 and the Superintendence from 1963-1969. He was Superintendent at Irving from 1969-1970, and moved to Lubbock in the summer of 1970 where he served as Superintendent until his retirement in 1983.
During the 13 year tenure of Superintendent Irons in LISD, there were significant developments. CIMA (Creative Instruction Maximum Achievement), a program for gifted and talented students, was begun. LEAP (Lubbock Ex-emplary Academic Program) at Lubbock High and magnet features at Iles Elementary and Hutchinson Junior High also were started during his admin-istration. Special Education offerings were expanded, including a unique program for infants, which earned statewide recognition for Lubbock Public Schools. There were two successful bond elections during the administration of Mr. Irons. Mahon, Ballenger, and Williams schools were opened, numerous facility improvements were made, and three elementary schools (Honey, Waters, and Whiteside) were constructed for opening the school year following his retirement, 1983-84. Throughout his LISD Superintendence, Mr. Irons was immersed in dealings with the Federal government in school desegregation matters as well.
As an educator, Ed Irons was actively involved in many significant professional activities, including chairman of the State Textbook Committee, State Advisory committee for Special Education and the Statewide Advisory Committee for Data Processing. He was also chairman of the University Interscholastic League Legislative Council. He served on the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Education and was a guest lecturer at East Texas State and Stephen F. Austin State universities.
An officer in WW II, Mr. Irons served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater for 38 months. He was active in civic activities, including contributions to the community with United Way ’s cabinet, Salvation Army chairman of the board, Lubbock Society for Crippled Children chairman, and director of the Caprock Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Mr. Irons’ awards throughout his lifetime were many, including being named to the Hall of Honor for Football and Basketball at Texas Tech, Administrator of the Year in Lubbock and in Texas by the Classroom Teachers Association, Tyler Citizen of the Year by the American Jewish Committee, and Texas Educator of the Year by the Texas School Business Magazine.
Ed Irons was a family man. He and his wife, Jane, had five children: David, Dan, Susan (Hartsfield), Sally (Judge), and Amy (Jones), who gave them fourteen grandchildren, two of which attended the junior high named for their grandfather. Now both Mr. and Mrs. Irons are deceased, but sons, daughters, and grandchildren return to our campus often to continue to celebrate their father’s legacy in education and to proudly wear the Irons Middle School garments of the year. Further, each year IMS celebrates a special day that we dedicate specially to honor him: Ed Irons Day. Though Mr. Irons is no longer here to celebrate amongst us as he was when our school was first opened, we continue to carry on the tradition of excellence that his career in education established.