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Judge’s life, accomplishments honored at DeAnda dedication ceremony

March 19, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

The friends and family of Judge James DeAnda were joined by noted jurists, community members, elected officials, and HISD Superintendent Terry Grier at the official dedication of James DeAnda Elementary School. The school is one of the district’s new campuses built to LEED specifications and made possible by public support of 2007’s $805 million bond program.

Senators Rodney Ellis and Mario Gallegos presented DeAnda Principal Eduardo Sindaco with an official proclamation commemorating Judge DeAnda’s life and accomplishments.

“We ought to name schools after those whose accomplishments are on the right side of history,” Ellis said. “This school is named for Judge DeAnda because he lived a life worth emulating.”

Attendees included Board of Education Trustee Manuel Rodriguez; former Houston City Council member Felix Fraga; Michael Solar of the legal firm Solar & Associates; U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison; federal judge, Louis De Anda, brother of Judge DeAnda and Michael Olivas, law professor at the University of Houston.

“He was our Thurgood Marshall,” said Olivas, who currently sits of the board of the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, which DeAnda founded.

Louis J. DeAnda, Judge DeAnda’s son, thanked Principal Sindaco for his dedication to the school and its students.

“When I finished my tour, one thing I noticed is that as we were leaving the school, Mr. Sindaco greeted each parent by name. It’s not just a job for him, and that let me know that this school is going places.”

Judge James DeAnda was raised in Houston and attended Sherman Elementary School. He was one of the first Mexican American attorneys to argue before the Supreme Court, and was the second Mexican American to serve as a federal judge, nominated by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, and received his commission to the bench on May 10, 1979.

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