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Texas School Honoring Robert E. Lee to be Renamed for Local African-American School Teacher

 

Officials with the Denton Independent School District unanimously voted this week to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary in honor of a longtime educator in the North Texas district.

Board members approved the name change Tuesday, Nov. 14, after a course of public meetings on the matter that began last year, CBS Dallas-Fort Worth reported. The school’s new name will celebrate Denton teacher Alice Moore Alexander, who taught kindergarten and first grade in the community for nearly 45 years.

The move is the latest effort in North Texas to help rid buildings and public spaces of symbols of the Confederate South. Other school districts like Dallas ISD and North East ISD in San Antonio have also opted to change the names of schools named after Confederate soldiers, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle.

“As a board, we’ve always wanted to put the name on a building of someone who has directly impacted the people in our community, and Mrs. Alexander certainly fits that description,” Board President Mia Price said in a statement. “The renaming of a building is often a difficult decision to make, and we believe with the naming of new elementary, this was the perfect opportunity to honor Mrs. Alexander and keep her name close to the Southeast Denton community that she championed throughout her career and life.”

The school will bear Alexander’s name starting next school year.

Alexander, who was African-American, began her teaching career in 1928 and spent much of it at Fred Moore School, an institution named after her father in 1949, according to the district’s website. She passed away in 2007 but was remembered for “furthering the cause of ethnic harmony” and “being a vivacious leader with an influence on her students.” She was 100 years old.

“Mrs. Alexander pioneered the work-life integration concept by always being a loving mentor to every child she came in contact with, no matter the setting,” said John Punch, one of the many who nominated the late school teacher. “She was the quintessential educator.”

“For decades, she was a staple in Denton life and was loved by all races and people of every creed,” Punch added.

The Denton ISD also voted on another school, which is still under construction and will be named Union Park Elementary School, the district announced. That school is set to open Fall 2019.

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