An inside look at Katy’s newest high school, number 7
Written by Kirsten Cornell | Select photos courtesy of Obra D. Tompkins High School
Katy, Texas News – With student enrollment nearing 65,000 in Katy ISD, the need arose for a seventh comprehensive high school. General population growth is predicted to grow exponentially in west Katy, so the board selected a prime location off of Gaston Rd., amidst several master-planned communities.
Behind the Name
Obra D. Tompkins Jr., formerly a principal of Mayde Creek High School, is a well-known and prestigious educator that contributed many years to Katy ISD. During his 35-year career, Tompkins served as a teacher, coach, and assistant principal before his role at Mayde Creek. He is known as an inspiring mentor who demonstrates integrity and character.
“Tompkins’ education philosophy placed an emphasis on a student-centered approach, focusing on high expectations for performance by both students and staff,” explains Mark Grisdale, the campus’ principal. “The school will try to emulate these characteristics.”
While the school naming committee entertained several options, Tompkins was chosen as the school’s namesake by an overwhelming majority.
The Inaugural Class
Tompkins is projected to open with 850 to 900 students comprised of both incoming freshmen and sophomores. “The school is hosting orientations for students so that they can meet the staff members and be introduced to the many opportunities available on campus,” says Grisdale.
In addition to athletic gyms, a detached natatorium, bookroom, and fine arts area, the campus also incorporates many “green” features. “We have a retention pond that will be used to recycle water for irrigation. The buildings also utilize energy-saving lights and other amenities,” Grisdale explains.
Students will have access to the high level of academic and extracurricular programs found at other award-winning Katy ISD schools. The administration also encourages students to give back to the Katy area. “Tompkins offers a community service program where students can earn service hours for their community involvement,” says Grisdale.
Katy ISD holds their schools and students to a high level of excellence. Tompkins will accept no less, and is positioned for success. According to Grisdale, their vision is simple: “To provide students with exceptional academic and extracurricular experiences that will prepare them for post-high school endeavors.” KM
KIRSTEN CORNELL is the lead associate editor of Katy Magazine and is sure to become an avid fan of the Falcons.