History and Culture

ROBS was founded 60 years ago as a mission of River Oaks Baptist Church. For a number of years, we were known only to the communities around our campus, who thought of us as a sweet little neighborhood school. That we were, and proud of it. But as time passed, a new culture began to take shape. Year after year, we elevated our academic excellence, all the while holding true to the spiritual values upon which we were founded. Today ROBS stands as a learning institution like no other.

We are a premier academic destination that draws students from all around the Houston area. We also are a tight-knit community of dedicated families, faculty, and staff who enthusiastically support one another in building our student’s minds, confidence, and character. Here, every student is learning, and every student is loved. This is the ROBS culture, and we honestly can’t think of a better way to be.

List of 1 items.

  • Barbara Luengas

    Barbara Luengas recalls with great clarity the Church’s beginnings with her father Walter Farmer, Dr. Carlos Hamilton, and a handful of other men. They first met in homes, then schools – they even had a stint in the River Oaks Theater where Sunday School was actually held in the foyer of the ladies restroom.
    When the sanctuary was completed in 1953, ten-year-old Barbara was the first member to be baptized there. Years later, when she had married and divorced, and found herself trying to survive and provide as a single mother, it was ROBC and ROBS that gave her work. “They not only made it possible for me to eat, they made it possible for me to support and educate my family.”

    To say she has given back is an understatement. She started teaching at ROBS 39 years ago in the fourth grade classroom, worked in the nursery, put on the first school play, coached students in public speaking, and even taught 7th and 8th grade Social Studies at the same time. But her love was and is U.S. History, and her greatest reward comes when students report that she influenced their ultimate career choice. “All I ask is that my students love this country,” Barbara says.

    And even as teaching techniques change, Barbara claims it is the unchanging Christian aspect of ROBS that provides the stability and strength moving forward. “We’ve never needed to teach Baptist doctrine here,” she says, “because we simply teach the love of Christ. That is our greatest offering.”

List of 1 items.

  • Penny Jackson

    “A happy, happy place” is how Penny Jackson describes her employer at 2300 Willowick. She sentimentally recalls the days when our size allowed us to be a bit more relaxed…and she even remembers teaching math in a tree house one day, and running out to cheer on Houston Rodeo trail riders another.
    Her time here as a Pre-Algebra, Latin, and English teacher allowed her a front row seat as she watched ROBS transition from a neighborhood school into “a force to be reckoned with.”

    “We can totally embrace 21
    st century teaching and still have a core of love, respect, and consideration for the students we teach. We’re as ‘pro-kid’ as we’ve ever been, and I’m more excited about teaching now than ever,” Penny says. “The vast increase in technology multiplies the resources from which students can learn, so they are taking more ownership of the learning process.”

List of 1 items.

  • Susan McDaniel

    Susan McDaniel started substitute teaching at ROBS when her son was in Kindergarten and daughter Martha (a beloved ROBS first-grade teacher) was in Readiness. “It was such a joy and blessing to be here with my children and to see them thrive in such a warm, fuzzy place,” Susan recalls.
    While she’s the first to admit that education has changed in 3 ½ decades, her love for early childhood education at ROBS has not. In response to the often asked question,

    “Why would you teach four-year-olds?” Susan, who holds a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, replies that it is very fulfilling to see that if Preschool teachers do their job right, the transition to Lower School is successful.

    “In the Preschool, we get a chance early on to recognize and assess our youngest students’ abilities, conceptual knowledge, and skills,” says Susan. “Plus we enjoy a generous and supportive administration that understands the importance of our own continuing education. We are fluid enough to keep up with new methods and also hang on to the tried and true.”

List of 1 items.

  • Judy Adams

    By the numbers, Judy has taught math in every grade from Kindergarten – eighth since coming to ROBS 32 years ago. Numbers don’t change, but teaching them does. “We have always strived to be on the cutting edge with our curriculum,” says Judy, recalling ROBS being on the forefront over the years in adopting innovative teaching techniques. “But it has never been change for its own sake.”
    “Excellence is always the goal. We know so much more about the brain and cognitive disciplines. Students learn differently now, and we are always looking at what’s best for the child.”

    In her past role as Associate Head of School for Academics, Judy worked closely with area high schools to place our eighth graders. She says high schools know ROBS graduates will be well-prepared, independent learners who’ll become active leaders in their chosen communities: “It is such a privilege to teach children who really are going to be leaders, servants, and game-changers in our world!”

    Judy continues to leave an indelible mark on students' intellectual growth in her role as Special Advisor to Academics.

List of 1 items.

  • Jeff Reynolds

    Jeff came as a young 22-year-old in 1985. For the past 30 years, he has taught Social Studies to all grades of Middle School; coached basketball, tennis, and cross country; and served on the Administrative Team and countless committees. Quite simply, he has grown up at ROBS.

    His perspective is clear: “It is the core of continuity that makes us great,” he says, the most vital being the leadership at the Board of Trustees level. “The influence and consistency of leaders like Gail Stewart and Carolyn McConathy, as well as pastors Martus Miley and Douglas Tipps, permeates everything we’ve accomplished. The biggest factor in our success is unquestionably the connection with the Church.”

    Jeff also credits Dr. Nancy Hightower with “stepping on the accelerator for academic excellence” and Rebecca Craft for being the force behind the Character Program. “It is the character program that differentiates us from other schools,” Jeff said. “It’s not just a lesson. Positive role models are essential to our approach to character education, and that is a direct reflection on our teachers.”

    As for the biggest highlights of his ROBS experience, Jeff points to the blessing of teaching two generations in the same family: “When alumni want their kids to have the same nurturing and rigorous academic experience they did, I know we’re doing it right.”

List of 1 items.

  • Victor Pulich

    As Athletic Director for many years, Victor quarterbacked the many changes that have transpired in the Athletic Department, from adding teams, to improving facilities, to enhancing physical education opportunities for our students. Under his direction, the athletic program has doubled in size and now boasts some of the city’s finest facilities.

    ROBS was the first Middle School in the U.S. to get synthetic turf – and two years ago the field was upgraded to an even higher quality turf.

    “In addition to daily PE classes, we now coach 22 athletics teams and enjoy nearly 100% participation from eligible Middle School students,” says Victor. “More importantly, we focus on finding a place for everyone, regardless of skill level.” Over the years, Victor and his staff have guided students through the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” nurtured skinned knees and treated concussions, broken up disagreements, and taught the benefits of teamwork, hard work, and perseverance.

    Yet his greatest payoff is not the trophies, conference championships, shattered track records, or other feats of overcoming. “Because ROBS’ mission to educate is undergirded by faith in Jesus Christ, we are able to embrace His teachings in our programs, including an extremely strong Fellowship of Christian Athletes program,” says Victor. “My biggest reward has always been and will always be watching a kid give his life to the Lord.”

    This fall, Victor’s work shaping children’s lives will continue in his role as Middle School Dean of Students.
Ambitious academics rooted in abiding Christian values for children age 2 through grade 8

Located in Houston, Texas, River Oaks Baptist School is a private, Christian, co-educational day school for students in preschool, lower school, and middle school. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, Christian character education, competitive athletics, fine and performing arts, and a wide selection of extra-curricular activities.
713.621.8216 Fax