Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush visits Spillane MS

December 12, 2019

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush helps Spillane Middle School students analyze a map drawn by Stephen F. Austin in 1830. Commissioner Bush visited Spillane on Dec. 12 as part of his “Year of Education” initiative.
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush helps Spillane Middle School students analyze a map drawn by Stephen F. Austin in 1830. Commissioner Bush visited Spillane on Dec. 12 as part of his “Year of Education” initiative.

Dec. 12, 2019—Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush visited Spillane Middle School on Dec. 12 to teach a seventh grade Texas History class as part of his “Year of Education” initiative.

The initiative includes Commissioner Bush and his team traveling across the state to promote education in multiple learning environments. Spillane was Commissioner Bush’s 48th school visit of the year.

Spillane Middle School seventh grade student Nathan Mai holds an unfired cannonball recovered at The Alamo. Commissioner Bush brought the cannonball as a special surprise for students.
Spillane Middle School seventh grade student Nathan Mai holds an unfired cannonball recovered at The Alamo. Commissioner Bush brought the cannonball as a special surprise for students.  

The Commissioner was welcomed to Spillane by seventh and eighth grade choir, band and orchestra students who played “Marches of the Armed Forces.” Commissioner Bush then met Stephen Linekin’s seventh grade Texas History class for a history lesson.

The lesson focused on observing and analyzing a map originally drawn by Texas colonizer Stephen F. Austin in 1830. Commissioner Bush asked students to wear gloves like they would if they were working with an original map and use a magnifying glass to search for hard to read details, some written in Spanish. Commissioner Bush then asked students what they found when analyzing and observing the map.

CFISD Board of Trustee Debbie Blackshear, left, CFISD Board of Trustee Tom Jackson, middle left, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Spillane Middle School namesake Carolyn Spillane, right, pose for a picture with a restored map. Commissioner Bush’s office has helped restore thousands of maps and has digitized more than 45,000 maps on its website. 
CFISD Board of Trustee Debbie Blackshear, left, CFISD Board of Trustee Tom Jackson, middle left, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Spillane Middle School namesake Carolyn Spillane, right, pose for a picture with a restored map. Commissioner Bush’s office has helped restore thousands of maps and has digitized more than 45,000 maps on its website. 

As a special surprise for students and staff, Commissioner Bush and his office brought an unfired 4-1/2-pound cannonball recovered at The Alamo. Students were given the chance to hold the cannonball at the end of the lesson.

“With this year being the Year of Education for the state government, I thought it was important to get out of the board room and into the classroom,” Commissioner Bush said. “As a recovering teacher myself, I think it’s great to have the opportunity to bring a primary source of Texas state history into the classroom. The kids absolutely loved it. We love getting out into the state, into the classroom and sharing a little bit about our rich history.”

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush holds up a map drawn by Stephen F. Austin during his Texas History lesson on Dec. 12 at Spillane Middle School. Commissioner Bush helped students make observations and analyze the map.
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush holds up a map drawn by Stephen F. Austin during his Texas History lesson on Dec. 12 at Spillane Middle School. Commissioner Bush helped students make observations and analyze the map.

After the lesson, Commissioner Bush explained that his office has helped restore thousands of maps and has digitized more than 45,000 maps on The Texas General Land Office website, which is available for students to use.

“It meant so much to our Spillane students, staff, school board and our district administration that we had the honor of having Commissioner Bush teach one of our seventh grade Texas History classes,” said Jamie Brotemarkle, Spillane principal. “The students thoroughly enjoyed his interactive lesson. Spillane hosting Commissioner Bush is something the students and faculty will always remember.”

Visit the Texas General Land Office website for more information.

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