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Ongelo Pierson: A Principal with Principles
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Ongelo Pierson was born March 14, 1923 in Stilwell, Oklahoma. He was the son of J.R. Pierson and Ida Carden. He graduated from Stilwell High School in 1941. Later that year, Mr. Pierson joined the U.S. Army Air Forces just eight days after the Pearl Harbor attack. He was an aircraft mechanic maintaining B-24 Liberator bombers in England. He served the duration of the war and was discharged at the rank of sergeant in September 1945.
On May 28, 1946 in Columbus Kansas, Ongelo Pierson married Polly Caldwell, the sister of his childhood best friend.
Going to school on the G.I. Bill, Pierson earned a bachelors degree and a master's degree from Northeastern Oklahoma University. His first job after his education was as both principal and sixth through eighth grade teacher in Baron, Oklahoma.
Ongelo and Polly had five children: two sons, Rick and Mick; and three daughters, Paula [married name: Nunn], Sheila [married name: White], and Robin [married name: Weaver].
After five years at the Baron school, Ongelo Pierson moved to Albuquerque to become principal of Sandia Base Elementary School in 1954. The school was located on the semi-secret atomic weapons base located on Albuquerque southeast edge. Mr. Pierson served 24 years as principal of Sandia Base Elementary School. In 1978 he became principal of Crestview Elementary School in Albuquerque, from which he retired in 1982.
Ongelo Pierson passed away on March 23, 2010. He is buried at Sunset Memorial Park, 924 Menaul Avevenue, in Albuquerque.