The Killeen Independent School District board of trustees has approved names for two new elementary schools being built by the district.
The Pershing Park and Sugar Loaf Elementary School consolidation project will be named Pershing Park Elementary School, and the East Ward and West Ward Elementary School consolidation project will be named Killeen Elementary School. Both names were approved during unanimous votes by the board late Tuesday night near the end of a virtual school board meeting that lasted just over four and a half hours.
Board president Corbett Lawler said that the district does not have a flagship elementary school similar to Killeen High School. Lawler also said with a chuckle that maybe the mascot could be the Joeys (Killeen High’s teams are known as the Kangaroos).
The public’s input was not used in the board’s decision to name the new schools, and previous meetings on the names were done in closed-door sessions.
However, the district has named new schools in the past with public discussion over the naming of schools, and those discussions have sometimes gotten heated.
In 2013, a school board meeting was full of Killeen residents and more than 12 of them decided to speak at a public forum over the name of the new elementary school that ended up being named Fowler Elementary School, which was the name of a former school.
One of the other names that was discussed for the school was Robert Hornsby, who was a Killeen police officer who was killed in the line of duty in July 2013.
A third name was Alice Douse, a longtime Killeen teacher, principal and community member. She was the first African-American principal in the district.
The board eventually named an elementary school after Douse, which opened in August 2017.