New School Names Honor Hero & Heritage

New School Names Honor Hero & Heritage
Posted on 12/06/2016

At its December 5, 2016, meeting, the Boerne ISD Board of Trustees named three new schools being constructed in the district. The names were selected from a list of recommendations put forth by a committee composed of community members and BISD staff. These schools are being funded by the 2016 Bond supported by Boerne ISD voters.

Following is information on the namesakes of each of the schools.

Van Raub Elementary School (8776 Dietz Elkhorn Road)

Van Raub Elementary School (8776 Dietz Elkhorn Road)

Van Raub Elementary School is named for the historic community that existed on and around the current school site.

Van Raub community was near Cibolo Creek at a site just off present Interstate Highway 10, twenty-four miles northwest of downtown San Antonio in northwestern Bexar County. The community was established on a survey of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway in 1884 and was named for Van Raub Byron, owner of the first local business. A church, a school, a cotton gin, and a weekly newspaper (the Advance) were established during 1885.

The population was reported as 300 in 1886, and a post office opened in 1889, but the town declined with the building of the railroad west to Kerrville. The Van Raub community reported 150 residents in 1910. The community post office was replaced by rural delivery from Boerne in 1919. During the mid-1930s Van Raub still had a school, a store, and a few houses, but after World War II most of its remaining residents moved away. In the early 1990s only a few scattered houses remained. (From the Handbook of Texas)

Van Raub Elementary School is being constructed on a 19-acre tract at 8776 Dietz Elkhorn Road. The old Van Raub community schoolhouse, owned by Boerne ISD, sits on an adjacent property and will be incorporated into the overall site plan of the new campus. Options for its use continue to be discussed. The new elementary school will open Fall 2018.

Dr. Ferdinand L. Herff Elementary School (Esperanza subdivision)

Dr. Ferdinand L. Herff Elementary School (Esperanza subdivision)

Dr. Ferdinand L. Herff Elementary School is named for a prominent San Antonio physician whose family had land interests in Kendall County and whose influence on Boerne and the surrounding area is significant.

Ferdinand Ludwig von Herff was born at Darmstadt, Germany, on November 29, 1820. He came from an aristocratic family; his father was chief justice of the Hessian Supreme Court. While attending the University of Bonn, Herff lived with his uncle, the president of the university, and was able to meet many famous people.

Studying under influential medical scientists and learning avant garde concepts and techniques, he began his medical education at Berlin and finished in 1843 at Giessen. While a surgeon in the Hessian Army (1843-47) Herff developed ingenious techniques in plastic surgery and tuberculosis treatment.

Because of the political environment in Germany, Herff and many fellow countrymen emigrated to America. In 1847, Herff helped organize a group composed mainly of university-educated professionals to found an idealistic commune in Texas. Within eighteen months the commune failed and Herff returned briefly to Germany. He married Mathilde Kungel Hoeffer in 1849 and soon returned to Texas, became a citizen, and dropped the nobility title "von" from his name.

Herff and his wife first settled in New Braunfels, then moved to San Antonio in 1850, where Herff began one of the most prolonged careers in Texas medicine. In 1853, he became a charter member of the Texas Medical Association.

Like many Germans, Herff was a supporter of the Union in the Civil War; however, he served as Confederate States Army surgeon, treating the patient not the uniform. He helped the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word establish Santa Rosa Infirmary, San Antonio's first hospital.

The Herff family owned 960 acres on two different tracts in Boerne, which they used as personal retreats. The acreage has now been incorporated into the Cibolo Nature Center and the Kendall County Fair Association. Ferdinand Ludwig Herff died in San Antonio on May 18, 1912.

Herff's great granddaughters, Juanita Herff Chipman and Carolyn Herff Kennon, donated the land for Boerne High School. (From the Handbook of Texas and other sources)

Dr. Ferdinand L. Herff Elementary School is being built in the Esperanza subdivision off Highway 46 East and is scheduled to open Fall 2019.

Capt. Mark Tyler Voss Middle School (Highway 46 East and FM 3351)

(Click photo to enlarge)

Capt. Mark Tyler Voss Middle School (Highway 46 East and FM 3351)

Capt. Mark Tyler Voss Middle School is named for a Kendall County native son, U.S. Air Force officer and fallen warrior.

Tyler Voss

Tyler Voss was born December 16, 1985, to Marcy and Wayne Voss. He graduated from Boerne High School in 2004 and from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2008 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant.

Voss received his wings March 2010, having graduated from pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, where he received a training award for having the highest score in his class on flight check rides. He was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, where he flew KC-135 Stratotankers.

Voss was promoted to Captain on May 28, 2012, and became Aircraft Commander on March 14, 2013. Voss was killed May 3, 2013, near Chon-Aryk, Kyrgyzstan, in the crash of a KC-135 aircraft he was piloting. He was part of the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. At his funeral in Boerne, it was noted that Voss loved to fly and tinker with cars, motorcycles and airplanes. "He did so much living in the short time he was here," said Pastor Henry Schulte.

Capt. Mark Tyler Voss Middle School is being built on district property at the corner of Highway 46 East and FM 3351, on land very near Tyler's boyhood home. The school is scheduled to open Fall 2019.

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