By Bill Spinks

The new Earl and Marthalu Dieterich Middle School will open its doors for the first time to students next week and is likely to remain standing into the 22nd century. But a public tradition that goes back to almost medieval times will see the new school forward.

On July 25, members of Midlothian Masonic Lodge 584 presented the cornerstone for the new middle school, which is located at 2881 Ledgestone Lane. About 100 people attended the presentation.

Texas Past Grand Master R.W. "Jerry" Kirby presented the cornerstone at a ceremony at the front steps of the recently-completed school. Midlothian Independent School District superintendent Dr. Lane Ledbetter spoke to the gathering and thanked Masonic Lodge 584 for the support it gives to MISD.

School board president Matt Sanders spoke on the life of Earl and Marthalu Dieterich, and their lifetime of serving MISD. Also attending were school board members Andrea Walton and Tami Tobey, as well as Dieterich Middle School principal Amanda Rogers.

MISD will hold a virtual ribbon cutting for the new middle school on Friday. The event will be streamed on Facebook Live. The first day of school for both face-to-face and remote-learning students will be next Thursday, Aug. 20.

Dieterich Middle School was funded by a 2016 bond referendum that was approved by voters in the district. Other projects funded by the 2016 bond were recently-completed improvements to the W.G. Roesler Athletic Complex at Midlothian High School, and the Midlothian Innovative Learning Experience (MILE), the district’s new career campus.