Campus Spotlight: Lone Star Middle School, Honoring Student Smartness and Building Upon a Legacy 

On a warm spring evening, Lone Star Middle School was alive with curiosity and the excitement of learning well beyond the last bell of the day as families joined their students and educators for an interactive “Celebrating All the Ways Students are Smart” LMS Family Night event. A twist on a traditional parents' night, the event was designed to showcase student learning and educational experiences at the campus in an immersive, engaging way, with parents invited to participate and collaborate in activities like working together to create poetry with their children and experimenting hands-on with zSpace augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technology and other digital learning environment tools.

Not only did the event highlight great work by students at Lone Star, but also, much like the framework of the school building, it exemplified how the school has built upon a strong foundation to continue its 72-year, enduring West Texas legacy by evolving to provide students a 21st century educational experience, while honoring its past. In this week’s San Angelo ISD Campus Spotlight, we invite you to join in the legacy of Lone Star Middle School to learn how Principal Amy Lemaster and team are honoring all students while providing them guiding support to chase their own excellence. 

The mission aligning students and staff at Lone Star is prominently featured at the entrance of the building, and reads as follows:

"The mission of Lone Star Middle School is to honor all students, providing equitable and diverse learning experiences to equip future-ready learners with the skills and confidence to become leaders, achieve individual success, and contribute to a global community.”

In her five years at the campus, Principal Lemaster, along with Assistant Principals Elisa Bird, April Johnson, Latonia Sutton, Susan Staha, and the Texans team have been steadily working with students and staff to bring this mission to life. Evidence of the mission in action is present at the campus in ways including an award-winning counseling team who Lemaster attributes to helping grow community engagement by further developing the campus advisory committee, a strong commitment to developing student leaders who connect with the community resulting in student-led fundraising programs supporting Wounded Warriors, Toys for Tots and the Concho Valley Food Bank, and an exciting integration of Apple iPads and technology into curriculum spurring to student creativity and innovation. 

“Middle school is an exciting time in a student’s life. The students are very focused on their social lives and friendships but also beginning to look forward to their academic and professional futures. We want to help our kids collaborate, learn, and grow into leaders that have the confidence to succeed in high school and beyond,” said Principal Lemaster. 

Championing student-benefits for Lone Star students to equip them with skills and confidence for their future success is also evident in an engaging educational environment of customizable opportunities. Students can choose to take part in a number of 21st century learning opportunities to pursue a future of their own design from academics to fine arts to athletic extracurricular programs and clubs. Lone Star highlights include the addition of new CyberPatriot opportunities for students interested in cybersecurity, award-winning athletics and music programs, and unique offerings like swim team, tennis, and chess not generally available to middle school students in the state. 

Walk through the halls at Lone Star, pop into a classroom and you will find students engaging in activities like critically thinking in STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math) classes on projects like coding and designing bridges and prosthetics, communicating in new languages in fun ways like authoring stories in Spanish, or creating beautiful music in orchestra, a program that has grown at Lone Star by over 30 percent in just three years under the leadership of Director Dave Engelman. Another notable highlight at Lone Star is the Capturing Kids’ Hearts ambassador program, where student leaders also make visitors feel welcome in the classrooms, as an extension of the Capturing Kids’ Hearts program at the school.

The campus may have one mission, but Principal Lemaster reinforces that Lone Star Middle School does not have a single story, but rather many stories. The campus brings together students with diverse backgrounds and celebrates the many ways students are smart, and various unique paths to achieving individual hopes and dreams. And just as there is no one student story, the school has a rich history of many stories.  

Beside the mission statement plaque at the entrance to Lone Star is another noticeably older plaque, also prominently displayed that pays tribute to the campus history, bearing the former name of the campus, Lee Junior High School. In her time leading the campus, Principal Lemaster and her Texan team have overseen the change in the school name following a vote by the School Board in 2021 but worked to maintain connections to honor its history and alumni while celebrating the path forward. A newly dedicated section in the school library will house memorabilia and other historical artifacts from the school under its previous names Lee Junior High School and Lee Middle School and with the former mascot, the Rebels. Glass cases have been installed and an initial phase of collection started, although a greater call to the community inviting donation of memorabilia and artifacts may follow. The student body was involved in the selection of the new mascot, the Texans, which was announced in February 2021

“We had 70 years in our community as Lee Rebels, a transition year, and now we are redefining ourselves as Lone Star Texans. I am proud to have been here for the transition and to have served as an assistant principal and principal as a Rebel and Texan,” said Principal Lemaster. “When asked what it means to be a Lone Star Texan, one teacher responded that ‘being a Lone Star Texan means that you are part of a family; you are loved, welcomed, and supported. You learn to become strong and resilient’ and another said, ‘To be a Lone Star Texan means you put students first. You want what is best for each and every student, and you show them they are cared for and that they can achieve anything they put their mind to.’ Our teachers are proud to wear their Texan spirit-wear around town, and share their passion for education with the community.” 

Lone Star also features close proximity to Central High School, naturally facilitating a strong relationship with CHS including opportunities for students to attend CHS sporting and extracurricular events and more. Principal Lemaster and team express gratitude to community partners who consistently support Lone Star, with special appreciation to the campus Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

“Our PTO is fabulous! Our PTO shows up any time we ask for help. I know that I only need to call, text, or email and someone will be there to support our campus in any capacity they are able. They care so very much about their kids and our partnership!” said Mrs. Lemaster. 

Current 5th graders who will attend Lone Star Middle School next year can learn more here about the school and are invited to attend a summer jump start program as a fun and inspiring introduction to middle school to ease the transition from elementary to this next level. Details will be provided next week on the program. 

We hope you enjoyed this SAISD Campus Spotlight on Lone Star Middle School. We wish our Lone Star Texans, Mrs. Lemaster, and her Texan team a wonderful 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school year, and the fulfillment of, and progress toward, growing hopes and dreams! To stay up-to-date on San Angelo ISD, please visit the SAISD website at www.saisd.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.