The Killeen Independent School District will name its 33rd elementary school Joseph A. Fowler Elementary School — a homage to the school set to close in May.
The district’s board of trustees voted 6-0 in favor of the name during a monthly workshop meeting Tuesday. Board member Susan Jones was absent.
“I didn’t know Joe Fowler, but people who knew him speak very highly of him and describe the thousands of different ways he contributed to this community,” said board member Corbett Lawler. “Our predecessors thought enough of the man to name a school after him. I think it’s incumbent on us to continue to respect their decision (and name the new school Fowler).”
Dr. Joseph Anthony Fowler was a local doctor and active community member. He served on the Killeen ISD board of trustees from 1946 to 1949. He also was the sideline physician for the Killeen High School football team.
When the district announced it was closing the elementary school, Fowler’s son, Dr. Andy Fowler, 79, said it would be a “nice tribute” to name the new school after his late father. He was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
The staff of the existing Fowler Elementary School expressed its desire for the new school to retain the same name.
Joseph A. Fowler was one of about 50 names considered for the new school. State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, former school board member Arthur Trujillo and Killeen Police Officer Robert Hornsby, who was killed in the line of duty in July, also were on the list.
“We are fortunate that we live in a community where there are so many different possibilities for what to name the school,” Lawler said.
Hornsby’s wife, Kimberly Hornsby, said Tuesday she was thankful for the opportunity to speak in front of the board in November to advocate the school be named after her husband, who served with “mercy, grace and integrity.”
“I can just speculate that this was a very sensitive issue for a lot of people involved, including myself. I think (the board) wanted to do what was right for the community and the school,” Hornsby said. “I just get joy in knowing that (the staff’s) requests were honored, and rightfully so. Dr. Fowler was a huge contributor to the community and he deserves to still have his name on the school.”