John R. Elementary

John R. Good Elementary School opened in the fall of 1959 with Arthur Casey as principal. There were 10 classrooms for the 300 students in the first through sixth grades. The first staff was made up of ten teachers, one secretary, and a principal who was also the principal at Schulze Elementary School. In the early years, the students at the Union Bower School were incorporated into John R. Good Elementary which caused it to be referred to as the Union Bower School on occasion. Later when L.G. Smith Elementary School was closed, those students were also included at Good. Good Elementary has undergone several additions since 1960. There are now around 40 classes for kindergarten through fifth grades plus music, art, PE, and special services.

In 2001 Good Elementary was the first elementary school in Irving ISD to be awarded the National Blue Ribbon Award.

After Mr. Casey, John D. Pollan became principal. He was followed by C.C. Holden, Wayne Wilson, Boyd Payne, Curtis Hines, Earl Morgan Cook, Dr. Cheryl Jennings, Yanira Oliveras, Linda Tucker, and Doug Sevier. Dr. Jill Tokumoto is the current principal.

John Roland Good was born on Sept. 2, 1907 in Farmers Branch. He attended Bryan Adams High School in Dallas. While in high school he was a corporal in Bryan Adams Military Department Company C (a precursor to the high school ROTC program), and a member of the Radio Club.

He married Hester Jewell Pendergrass. After Hester’s father’s death, John and she bought her family’s farm in Irving. They built a house on the land where the Good Elementary is located. Hester described the land when she grew up as all farmland. “There were only two houses between here and downtown Irving, about two miles away.” (Irving Daily News) They had one child who died as an infant. By trade Mr. Good was a mechanic and shop foreman with Dallas Power & Light Co.

Mr. Good was a relative of Jacob Good, who settled in the Farmers Branch area in the 1870’s through the Peters Colony Land Grant Co.

John died January 27, 1950 at the age of 43 and is buried in Oak Grove Memorial Gardens in Irving. After his death, Hester married Joe Ledbetter. The Ledbetters sold their land to Irving ISD at a bargain price on the condition that the new school to be built on the land be named after John R. Good.


Research by Sandra Cole

Irving ISD/Brief History;; Irving Daily News, Jan. 22, 1978, Sec. II, Pg 1; and U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012.

This web page was created July 2016 by the Celebrating Irving Committee of the Irving Heritage Society in partnership with Irving Independent School District.

Photos used with the permission of Irving Archives, Irving Public Library and Irving ISD.

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A diverse community that values its past, celebrates its present, and embraces its future.