For a quarter of a century, Margaret Telford taught history in a school system with roots dating to 1908 when Grapevine’s first high school graduating class had one student.
On Thursday, a new piece of history was added when Grapevine High School graduated 490 students and Colleyville Heritage High School graduated 485 students.
“The size of the school’s district has grown so much,” the retired teacher said, recalling her Grapevine childhood home as a “farming community.”
Growth has its obvious pluses, she said. But there are minuses, too.
“Everybody knew you,” Telford said of her early school days. “And if you got in trouble, your parents would know before you got home.”
The history teacher retired two years ago — notable in history books because that year, Grapevine-Colleyville school district celebrated its 50th anniversary of consolidation.
The celebration paid homage to more than a century of students receiving education in the area.
Milestones included 1887, the opening of private boarding school Grapevine College, which in 1907 became a state high school located at the corner of Austin and Worth streets.
Another milestone was reached in 1962, when Grapevine school district and Colleyville school district consolidated. In 1975, the district became known as Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, according to a timeline on the district’s web site.
There are now 17 traditional schools, two alternative schools and one virtual school. Robin Ryan serves as superintendent.
With another school year come and gone, Telford fondly recalled her longtime association with area schools that began when she was in first grade and culminated with her graduation in 1962 from Grapevine High School.
The lessons she learned in school growing up prepared her for the role as a social studies teacher — a career she always cherished.
Her dedication is rewarded when students come back after graduation to tell her of their accomplishments.
“I had one who was so much trouble,” said Telford, 70. “He came back four or five years later to thank me for teaching him. What makes it so worthwhile are the ones where you can see you made a difference.”
Also, she said, “Some of my students are teachers here now.”
“It’s a testament to the district and the community that they go through the district and get their degrees and want to come back here to live and work,” Telford said.
When she watched the last class she taught graduate two years ago, Telford said it was “kind of bittersweet.”
“You’re always sad to see the students leave, but you are excited to see them go on with their lives,” she said.