Editor’s note. This story originally ran with the wrong picture. My apologies to the Enders Family and the Love Family.
Enders Elementary Open Magnet first welcomed students in August 2012. It was built as a replacement for the Lewis School which opened in 1957
A new name was recommended as Lewis and Emerson Open Magnets combined to create a new learning environment for students. James Enders Leadership and Community Service Magnet Elementary was the pick.
The Wichita Eagle talked to Todd Enders when the school board made the decision to name the school after his dad. “‘It’s a huge honor for the whole family,’ He said his father, who loved to help people but never sought credit or attention, ‘would have loved this, but he wouldn’t have wanted it. He was never about himself.’”
James Vernon Enders was a social studies and physical education teacher in the Wichita Public Schools.
Enders was born on May 14, 1931. He graduated from Independence High School in 1949. Interesting side note: He holds the school record for the longest touchdown run. He went 98 yards!
Jim served in the Air Force for four years. He married Etta Caston in June of 1952.
After leaving the military he went back to school and graduated from Pittsburg State with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and History.
Enders taught for a few years in Independence before moving the family of four, which included sons Todd and Michael, to Wichita. He taught at Roosevelt junior high and Truesdell.
His wife Etta was a teacher at Cleveland Elementary and Sunnyside Schools before retiring in 1990.
He also coached tennis at South High School.
He spent most of his tenure at Truesdell Middle School and retired in 1991.
Enders passed away on December 27, 2010. He returned to Independence for his final resting place at Mount Hope Cemetery. Etta was reunited with her husband in August of 2022.
The school’s webpage said, “He would share stories with others about his students’ accomplishments with great pride and was humbled when former students would tell him about the positive impact he had on their lives.”
Check out Wichita’s other schools.
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