District announces names of new schools

Published on Thursday, 15 May 2014 22:49 - Written by Emily Guevara eguevara@tylerpaper.com

The names of Tyler ISD’s newest schools will be tied to location and function, with certain parts of the facilities being named after people.

TISD’s board of trustees unanimously approved Three Lakes Middle School and the Tyler ISD Career and Technology Education Center as the names for the new campuses, which are under construction. Both are slated to open in 2015.

The middle school’s name comes from Three Lakes Parkway, the street on which it is being built.

Although it won’t be named after a person, the middle school’s gym will be named in honor of Bill and Ann Coleman.

At the career and technology education center, three of the career pathway wings will be named in honor of C.C. Baker, Dr. Henrietta H. Grooms and Therelee Washington.

The district received 33 suggestions for names, 21 for the middle school being built on Three Lakes Parkway and 12 for the career and technical education center off Earl Campbell Parkway.

The board tabled the issue during a meeting earlier this month, citing a need to go over the submitted nominations and gather as much information as possible.

“There’s no way to publicly debate the qualities of all these great people, and it wouldn’t be right to do that,” board Vice President Andy Bergfeld said Thursday, adding that trustees wanted to thank everyone for taking part in the process.

Superintendent Gary Mooring said he reviewed the input from the community members and school board and grouped the recommendations based on frequency of occurrence.

He said the names the district decided to use received a lot of community and board input. There is the possibility of naming other wings of the career and technology center in the future, he said.

Board President the Rev. Orenthia Mason said after the meeting they hope the career and technology education center becomes a shining light in the district and beyond.

She said they are so proud the community provided the opportunity to build this campus, so they wanted to honor the entire community.

During the public comment section of the board meeting, Tyler resident Kristen Baldwin, a former TISD board member, asked the board members to be very thoughtful about the names they selected.

She said unless the district received a substantial nomination for the CTE center, they should avoid naming it after a person. She also asked that they thoroughly vet the names of any individual they pick.

Although it might not seem like a big decision to some, it is significant because it’s something that the community will have forever, she said.

It’s district policy that in naming, renaming or changing the name of any school building or district facility, it be named after a person who has served TISD or the community; a local, state or national heroic figure; or a local, state or national geographic area.

A namesake must have made a significant contribution to society and/or education and the name should give prestige and status to the school, according to district policy.

These are the first schools to be added to the district since Jack Elementary opened in 2007.

In other business, the board:

- Approved the $26,500 purchase of the Instant Alert Network, a new security measure. This iPhone and Android app is designed to provide instant notification to assigned agencies and staff and reduce response time in the event of emergencies such as intruders, severe weather, fire, air or ground contamination or medical concerns, according to district information. The purchase will be funded from the district’s security budget and will launch next school year.

- Approved the resignation of Nancy Swanson, the district’s executive director of curriculum and instruction, and the hiring of Leigh Anne Barber as the district's director of guidance and counseling.

- Recognized outgoing District 4 board member Shirley Jordan before the board meeting.

The Rev. Mason said Ms. Jordan, who did not seek re-election, has continued to serve on the board in spite of the challenges of caring for her mother, who lives in a different city. The Rev. Mason thanked her for her dedication. Ms. Jordan, who has served on the board for six years, said although she hasn’t been one to speak out much during that time, she has thoroughly enjoyed it.

“You all have been just such a blessing to me,” she said.

The Namesakes:
  Bill Coleman was a longtime Tyler ISD coach, who served many years at Boulter Middle School. His wife, Ann Coleman, was a counselor at John Tyler High School and Roberts Junior High and a Hubbard Middle School PE teacher.  

  C.C. Baker Jr. is a former teacher, coach, principal, superintendent who is an active community volunteer; 32 years in education, 17 of those in TISD; John Tyler principal from 1975-82. 

  Dr. Henrietta Grooms is a former educator and longtime volunteer with The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary.
  Therelee Washington spent 35 years as an educator, 20 of those as a principal, and 19 years as a TISD board member.