• October 31, 2014

KISD board faces difficult choices in naming school

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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 4:30 am

When the Killeen school board names the district’s 33rd elementary school next spring, some people are likely to be disappointed.

It probably won’t be that the school’s name isn’t a worthy choice; rather, it’s because the board has several good nominees to consider — and only one will win the board’s approval.

Last week, Killeen-area residents packed the school board’s meeting to make their pitch for naming the new campus, which will open its doors for the 2014-2015 school year.

Some residents argued the decision is about continuing a tradition. Others who spoke advocated breaking new ground in recognizing an educator. Another group called for honoring a heroic public servant. All who spoke made strong arguments for their respective cases.

A large group of teachers, parents and former students representing Fowler Elementary School showed up to urge the board to move the school’s name to the new school when it opens next year.

Last month, the district informed teachers at Fowler that the small central Killeen school is likely to be closed because of new attendance zones that will take effect when the newest elementary opens — though no formal decision has been made.

The current school, which opened in 1956 and serves about 360 students, was named after Dr. Joseph Anthony Fowler, who served on the Killeen Independent School District board of trustees in the 1940s and was active in the community.

KISD officials stressed that the school’s staff would move to the new campus when it opens, but those who attended the meeting —including former principal Becky Smith and Fowler’s son, Dr. Andy K. Fowler — called for keeping the Fowler tradition alive by transferring the name as well.

It’s hard to argue against tradition, especially one that has served the community well for nearly 60 years.

Another contingent at Tuesday’s meeting — including the president of the local NAACP branch — urged the board to consider a first for the district: naming a school after a female African-American educator, Alice Douse.

Over a 32-year career with KISD, Douse worked as a teacher, consultant, assistant principal and principal. In 1977, Douse was named principal of Haynes Elementary, becoming the first African-American woman to serve in that post. In 1986, the board selected her to be the first principal of Hay Branch Elementary, where she remained until her retirement in 1996.

Given Douse’s strong background in education and groundbreaking status as an administrator, naming a school in her honor would be a sound choice as well.

Also speaking at Tuesday’s meeting was Kimberly Hornsby, whose husband, Killeen police officer Robert Hornsby, was killed in the line of duty in July. Joined by several KPD officers, Mrs. Hornsby told the board that her husband “served his community with mercy, grace and integrity,” and that naming a school after him would do him a great honor.

As the city’s first law enforcement officer in nearly a century to die in the line of duty, Hornsby certainly merits consideration.

A total of 45 names have been put before the board, including state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, who chairs the House Public Education Committee; and Arthur Trujillo, a former KISD board member.

The Killeen school district has 52 school campuses. Of those, 17 are named for individuals — some of whom are still living. If the board decides to go that route again, it will have a difficult choice to make.

Many of the nominees have a strong connection to education, which should factor into the decision-making process.

With that in mind, it might be more appropriate to name a park or public building, such as Killeen’s new police headquarters, in Hornsby’s honor.

Those who are disappointed by the board’s decision won’t have to wait long for another opportunity. The district last month bought 13.5 acres of land in far-south Killeen — for its 34th elementary campus.

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5 comments:

  • Smithjr38 posted at 7:50 am on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    Smithjr38 Posts: 114

    I Wish to apology for my ignorant post yesterday. That was stupid and wrong. And mean . I had read to many stories on the internet about Blacks in other states running amok . Fact is here in Central Texas we have decent and fine and well disciplined young Blacks . So I apology for that stupid post.

    The school board is better qualified to name that school as they chose .
    It is really not my business what they name it.
    Again I wish to apologize to the fine young black children of Texas as I have observed you all are fine citizens and a blessing to Central Texas
    Simithjr38

     
  • Smithjr38 posted at 7:50 am on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    Smithjr38 Posts: 114

    I Wish to apology for my ignorant post yesterday. That was stupid and wrong. And mean . I had read to many stories on the internet about Blacks in other states running amok . Fact is here in Central Texas we have decent and fine and well disciplined young Blacks . So I apology for that stupid post.

    The school board is better qualified to name that school as they chose .
    It is really not my business what they name it.
    Again I wish to apologize to the fine young black children of Texas as I have observed you all are fine citizens and a blessing to Central Texas
    Simithjr38

     
  • Smithjr38 posted at 2:04 pm on Wed, Nov 20, 2013.

    Smithjr38 Posts: 114

    If the Board don't want to rename the school fowler .
    Then Please don't name it after a Obama fan whom has cursed this nation.
    Since the blacks support Obama in destroying the USA and make the USA a jungle Bunny nation just like Chicago .

    Then name it JIG A Boo school to honor the savages and Obama fans.
    And allow white ,Asian and Latino children go to a real American school. And to pay for a decent non African school tax all the blacks with a Obama tax .

     
  • spt posted at 9:50 am on Sun, Nov 17, 2013.

    spt Posts: 13

    The entire campus of Fowler Elementary is moving to the new school. It makes sense to move the name with them since Fowler isn't disappearing it's just being moved. Alice Douse would be a good choice for the next school since she is so important and well thought of in KISD. It sounds like she has made great contributions to KISD.

     
  • Eliza posted at 5:02 am on Sun, Nov 17, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 835

    @ Many of the nominees have a strong connection to education, which should factor into the decision-making process.

    With that in mind, it might be more appropriate to name a park or public building, such as Killeen’s new police headquarters, in Hornsby’s honor.
    -----------------

    I'm surprised, no one has brought the above ideas to the attention of others, in a way to honor the slain officers name. It would indeed be more appropriate. Especially placing the man's name on a building which represents the officers main interest before he died.

     

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