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Campus History

Jensen Logo

In the fall of 1969, Theo Jensen Elementary opened at 3514 Tulip Street to relieve overcrowding at Fisher Elementary. Jensen Elementary is named after Theodore “Ted” Jensen, a native of Aalborg, Denmark. Jensen was a member of the Pasadena community and served as the president of the Rotary Club, president of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, and as a trustee of the Pasadena Independent School District, where he later served as president. John Lowe was Jensen’s first principal managing a staff of 18 and an enroll­ment of 430 students. For several years, Jensen Elementary was home to the school district’s central elementary. The librarian was a new position for the district and they managed all of the elementary books in the district. From 1972-1974, Jensen held special education classes. Around that same time, kindergarten classes were introduced into the curriculum, and team teaching was used. In 1973, a new teaching strategy was designed by one of Jensen's fifth-grade teachers, and the school was awarded $400 to build new science labs. A year later, construction began on a new gym, however, before it could be completed, a tornado destroyed it, along with the walls of two classrooms.  Windows throughout the building were blown out and tile was scattered throughout the building. Shortly after, a new gym was built and several classes were inconvenienced until all of the rooms were rebuilt. In 1976,  Jensen's enrollment was 819 students with a faculty of 32. 


 A few years later, there was additional construction/renovation which included a new library that was dedicated to the memory of Janet Reed, a popular and wonderful teacher who succumbed to cancer.  In the year 1997, another tornado ripped through the campus and damaged some of the portable buildings. As the school continued to grow, bilingual classes and behavior support services classrooms were added to the campus.  The portable buildings suffered another hit when a fire destroyed two classrooms in 2015.


The PTA was an integral part of the Jensen Elementary community as its goal was to provide the best possible education for students by working closely with the school.  The PTA utilized fundraisers to provide the teachers and campus with much-needed support.  One of the most successful fundraisers was the Fall Festival, which has become a yearly tradition at Jensen.  Staying true to tradition is the Book Fair, which is attended by many during Grandparents Week, Curriculum Nights, and Open House.  Another yearly tradition is the Winter Concert, which has gone on tour the past few years to share some holiday cheer with local businesses and nursing homes.  


Service projects evolved with the inception of Jensen’s student council in 2011. The students have fundraised for the Leukemia Society, organized food drives, held fundraisers, and participated in a beach cleanup day.  Other activities that have shaped a culture of recognition, caring, and understanding are Grandparents Luncheons, Thanksgiving Luncheons, Daddy Daughter Dance, Mommy and Me Dance, holiday parties, spring flings, students of the month and employees of the month, as well as various other celebrations.  


The year 2020 brought about a series of events like no other.  The hallways of Jensen Elementary were silenced by one of the most deadly pandemics the world has experienced in more than a century.  Pasadena Independent School District employees revamped the entire school system so that students could continue their education virtually.  This change occurred within a matter of weeks. In an effort to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus, the campus would not be accessible to students until the next school year.  The 2020 - 2021 school year brought about many changes that focused on preventing the spread of the virus while attempting to normalize life with a deadly virus.  The teachers’ passion for teaching and their love of children fueled the long hours of lesson preparation as they were now preparing lessons for children that would learn face-to-face or virtually.  PISD heroes, aka teachers, graced the hallways! 


The teachers’ love of teaching has been the driving force behind the multiple awards and recognition the school has received throughout the years.  The school has received multiple awards for state academic testing, has been recognized twice as a gold ribbon school by Children at Risk, and received the CREST award for outstanding counseling. The campus currently serves around 630 students in prekindergarten through fourth grade. 


Jensen Elementary has embraced many changes since it first opened its doors in 1969, but what has remained the same is the drive for student success and the love for our community.

List of Principals
  • John Lowe 1969-1990
  • Edward Chevallier 1990-1996
  • Gayle Woodall 1996-1999
  • Candy Howard 1999-2009
  • Judy Diaz 2009-present