"JEWEL WIETZEL CENTER:
At the Jewel Wietzel Center, we
strive to offer the best education possible to the multi-handicapped child in a
caring, structured environment. We work to improve the quality of life
for each of our students and their families by providing specialized services
and acting as a liaison and advocate with community agencies. Our
ultimate goal is to enhance each child's maximum potential. We strive to
have each student function as independently as possible to be a productive and
contributing member of our community."
About The School
Jewel C. Wietzel School History
the measles epidemic of 1965, federal monies were allocated to
establish programs for the deaf, blind and multihandicapped children in
the public schools. The program allotted $74,000 per child annually in
federal funds, besides state special education
The first specialized program
started at Mission Elementary School (now Gilbert Elementary) in
1971 - 72. This program included students
from outlying school districts, such as East Central, Somerset,
South Side, Natalia, and La Vernia. The curriculum consisted of
basic reading and writing skills, along with vocational activities
and functional living skills.
In 1972 the program was
relocated to Scheh Elementary. There it consisted of three
classrooms and three teachers, with two assistants. These students
were of elementary and secondary age. The curriculum consisted of
vocational activities and basic academics. Because the program was
so successful, it was moved to the Mission Road Developmental
Center. There it included three classes consisting of one teacher
and two assistants. Parent training classes were provided, as well
as classes for teachers and teacher assistants.
In 1972, Mr. Cole (a
parent of a deaf/blind student) and Mr. Charles Boggess were
selected as members of the State Advisory Committee on Special
Education. Mr. Cole was chairman of the committee. Together, they
traveled around Texas viewing special programs. Mr. Boggess became a
supporter of a special campus and program. This program consisted of
four teachers and two teacher assistants, and in 1977 the Center for
Deaf/Blind and Multihandicapped Children was developed. The center was
completed April 12, 1977. Local funds, contributions from citizens and
the Norma Friedrich Ward Trust were used to construct this
building. In 1990 - 91, the name was changed to the Harlandale
Center for Multihandicapped Children. The center had an enrollment
of 34 students during the 1993 - 94 school year.
In the fall of 2000, the
faculty and students moved to a newly constructed facility located
at 9131 Yett, Bldg #4, between Kingsborough Middle and Schulze
Elementary Schools. At a board meeting on October 16, 2000, the new school was named the Jewel C.
Wietzel Center, in honor of the Harlandale Independent School
District's first Special Education Director. The following
is a brief history of Mrs. Wietzel.
Jewel Wietzel was
born May 30, 1907, in Bigfoot, Texas. She graduated from Somerset
High School, and then earned a bachelor's degree from the University of
San Antonio (renamed Trinity University) and a master's degree from
She had a career in
education that spanned approximately 48 years - 34 of those years
were with the Harlandale Independent School District. She joined
Harlandale in 1944 and retired in 1978. Mrs. Wietzel began her
education career in a one-room school house. She taught at both primary
and junior high school levels. She served as an elementary school
principal and as assistant superintendent for special education in
Harlandale. Dillard McCollum, Harlandale's superintendent for 20 years,
appointed Mrs. Wietzel as the district's first special education
director. She earned awards for her contributions to education in
Texas. Mrs. Wietzel was well known among colleagues for her attention
to children, especially children with special needs. She had a
unique way of motivating and challenging those around
She and Armond A.
Wietzel were married for 53 years. They were active in Highland
Terrace Methodist Church and Highland Park Lions and Lionesses. They
have a son, Armond Wietzel Jr., who lives in Austin, Texas. Mrs.
Wietzel lived her entire life in San Antonio, Texas. She passed away
November 26, 1996.