To the Editor:
The Killeen ISD Board of Trustees is now considering naming the 33rd elementary school. Several names have appeared in the Herald. One name that has been submitted to the board that has not appeared in the Herald is Mrs. Alice Douse. The consideration of naming the school after Mrs. Douse should seriously be taken on her exceptional leadership in KISD as a teacher, consultant, assistant principal and principal.
Mrs. Douse’s tenure began in KISD in 1964 where she was a sixth-grade teacher at Marlboro Heights Elementary School. In 1966, she was assigned to Pershing Park Elementary as teacher, integrating the professional staff. In 1975, she became KISD’s first Elementary Science Consultant. She was appointed assistant principal of Pershing Park Elementary in 1976, the first African-American to hold this position. In 1977, she was selected principal of Haynes Elementary, where she became the first African-American woman to serve in this position. She was one of three African-Americans to serve on KISD’s first Strategic Planning Task Force. In 1986, the board of trustees selected Mrs. Douse to be the inaugural principal of Hay Branch Elementary, where she remained until her retirement in 1996.
I had the opportunity to work with Mrs. Douse for several weeks as a counselor. Hay Branch was the most pleasant atmosphere for learning. It was obvious that Mrs. Douse and all of her staff, both professional and paraprofessional, cared tremendously about the children and each other. The children spoke to her when they saw her and she would speak back, calling their names. She was always circulating throughout the school, not an office administrator. She was in the cafeteria during lunch and waving goodbye as the students left school. I also observed several parents leaving school after conferencing with her. They had satisfied expressions on their face.
In addition, Mrs. Douse is deeply involved in the community and church. She is a charter member of Anderson Chapel AME. She is a charter member of the Killeen Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She is the first African-American to receive the Killeen Exchange Club Golden Deeds award and first African-American recipient of Fort Hood’s “Good Neighbor Award.”
Mrs. Douse would be the best possible person to name the new elementary school for based on her service to the district as an educator and as a community leader.
Retired KISD teacher and counselor