Otis C. Polk was a Wichita Falls ISD principal beloved by his students. His words and phrases from decades ago keep on being in their minds to this working day.
They remember him ending early morning announcements with a stating: “If a undertaking is once started, in no way go away it ’til it is carried out. Be the labor good or small, do it very well or not at all.”
Polk would go on to say, “Make it a great working day or not. The alternative is yours.”
His title was proposed about 30 times as a namesake for a single of the new substantial universities in WFISD to open in slide 2024, according to information received by the Periods History News by means of an open up information ask for to the district.
Penny Rhodes of Wichita Falls was amongst people who proposed the name of the former principal of Kirby Junior High, now Kirby Middle Faculty.
“There are so quite a few illustrations of these people that just liked Mr. Polk,” explained Rhodes, who was a university student of his. “He wasn’t a wonderful Black educator. He was a terrific educator who just happened to be Black.”
The School Board strategies to explore naming the new superior universities throughout a unique session at noon Tuesday at the Education Center.
What names ended up proposed?
Nominators proposed the names of a number of African African leaders and legends, in the vicinity of and significantly, for the new high schools.
Arthur “Bea” Williams, Lawrence “Dobie” Williams, Charlye O. Farris, Rosie Flanigan, Virgil B. Taylor, Ervin Garnett, Otis C. Polk Jr. and Willie Faye Battle had been amid the names of community Black leaders appearing on 763 nomination types submitted to WFISD, in accordance to information supplied by the district.
Leaders in the area African American neighborhood have differing thoughts about what to title the new large educational institutions.
Rhodes, a community activist, stands powering her nomination of the longtime educator’s title, and she is not in favor of yet another name submitted over 200 periods.
“I know a good deal of people want it to be Wichita Falls Superior School, but you are going to have to don’t forget, which is a identify that did not unite the complete metropolis,” she explained.
“For me, when I imagine of Wichita Falls High University, I imagine of segregation,” Rhodes claimed.
The names of African People in america on the broader phase also appeared on nomination forms submitted about 60 days ending April 30.
They include Rosa Parks, Wes Lee, Mae C. Jemison, Katherine Johnson, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges and Angela Y. Davis. Another person also recommended Angola, the region in Africa.
A longtime educator speaks
Diann Taylor’s title was proposed about 70 instances. Nominators had higher praise for the educator with a 41-year career. Taylor is now retired from WFISD.
Sukie Desire claimed each of her daughters attended Kirby while Taylor was the principal.
“She was tough but it arrived from the coronary heart. She had substantial anticipations for herself, the lecturers, the pupils and their mom and dad,” Drive mentioned on a nomination type.
Motivation said Taylor noticed all the learners as her little ones.
“If a scholar experienced a need to have, she delivered, regardless of whether it was a trip home or meals,” Drive stated.
Taylor stated she was honored and humbled that her name was put forth.
But hers and some others nominated are not suitable based mostly on University Board policy.
WFISD plan allows schools and other services to be named for educators, historical figures and outstanding local citizens — who are deceased. Schools can also be named for historical occasions and destinations.
The plan is not the very same for naming components of services, these kinds of as the Kirby Middle Faculty library renamed the Diann Taylor Library of Excellence.
The policy for portions of facilities doesn’t specify the person must be deceased.
While appreciative that the College Board named the Kirby library right after her, Taylor disagreed with the plan for naming whole educational institutions.
“I just imagine that bouquets ought to be specified though a human being is alive,” she explained.
Taylor thinks thinks a additional generic method would be improved for the new faculties.
“I’m sure the board will make the greatest decision as they transfer by way of the title variations, but if they would maintain it generic, it would make everyone satisfied,” Taylor mentioned.
She likes the identify Legacy Park, the place of the east large university, and recommended the Legacy Park Leopards.
The mascot dates again to the times of Booker T. Washington Large College, the Black faculty on the east aspect of town closed in 1969 in an endeavor at desegregating the city’s faculty procedure.
Booker T. Washington Elementary School’s mascot is the Leopards.
Major names submitted
The top five names for each significant university submitted to trustees by the Faculty Naming Committee do not incorporate a person’s title.
The faculty board can pick names at their possess discretion from individuals lists, the for a longer time list of proposed names or names of their personal picking.
A person team from the committee submitted these best five names for the large college to be constructed at 3003 Henry S. Grace Freeway: Wichita Falls Legacy Park Substantial Faculty Wichita Falls East High Faculty Wichita Falls Large College Wichita Falls Veterans High University and Wichita Falls Summit High School
The other group submitted these names for the west higher college to be found at 6600 Kell Boulevard: Wichita Falls Memorial Significant College Wichita Falls West Large University Wichita Falls Kell Superior College: Wichita Falls Unity Significant University and Wichita Falls Westview Superior School.
A contact for regularity
The district’s very long-vary facility ideas contact for Aged Higher to shut down, and Rider and Hirschi higher colleges to come to be center universities.
While the names of all a few present-day superior educational facilities appeared on nomination varieties, consolidation from three to two higher universities means one particular would be still left out if trustees go that route.
The Rev. Angus Thompson noted that Outdated Large is the only significant faculty shutting down.
“In essence, what they are carrying out is, they are not closing Rider. They are shifting it to another locale,” mentioned Thompson, pastor of the New Jerusalem Baptist Church and a longtime group activist.
The exact naming technique must be made use of for both new superior colleges, he stated. If the west superior school is named Rider, the east superior faculty need to be named Hirschi.
“We want consistency. That’s what we want,” he said. “I feel that would fulfill most of the people today.”
He mentioned lots of proposed names belong to fantastic educators.
“That’s my era. I think the present-day generation would like to continue to keep the names of their educational facilities,” Thompson explained.
“If they move the title Hirschi and they transfer the title Rider, you won’t be upset,” he claimed.
Trish Choate, organization watchdog reporter for the Periods Record Information, covers instruction, courts, breaking information, politics and a lot more. Contact Trish with news guidelines at [email protected] Her Twitter take care of is @Trishapedia.