Denton school board members have named the district’s seventh middle school for Bettye Myers, a former board president and a current kinesiology professor at Texas Woman’s University.
The board approved the school’s name in a 7-0 vote Tuesday night.
“We are very excited to name our new middle school after an individual who is committed to the children of Denton,” said Mia Price, board president. “We think she’ll serve as a role model to all the students of Bettye Myers Middle School, and I personally look forward to years of interaction with Dr. Myers and students and staff.”
The school named in Myers’ honor is slated to open next fall in Shady Shores. The campus is adjacent to Olive Stephens Elementary School.
“We discussed the fact that Olive Stephens Elementary and Bettye Myers Middle School will be adjacent to one another — two strong women, two strong role models,” Price said. “I can’t think of a better juxtaposition.”
Myers said she got a call from Price about 10 p.m. Tuesday that the board would be voting to name the district’s newest middle school after her. She described it as an “unbelievable surprise” and said she is humbled and excited.
“It was a pretty overwhelming feeling,” Myers said. “I had never anticipated that something like this would happen in my lifetime.
“It’s just overwhelming to realize people think that I’m worthy to have an enduring name in education, and I’ve got to thank mom and dad for that.”
Myers, 85, said she’s always had an interest in children.
She said her mother, Gladys, a cattle rancher and elementary teacher, was her inspiration.
Myers served on the school board from 1985 to 1991, including four years as board president.
Charles Stafford, a current Denton school board member who also served on the board with Myers in the late ’80s and early ’90s, describes her as “pretty much a force of nature” who is smart, focused and determined.
Stafford said he found it a “great pleasure” to call a motion to name Denton’s newest middle school for Myers. The motion was seconded by the entire board.
“It was very heartwarming,” Stafford said. “It was a sweet thing.
“I always wanted for her to have something named for her. No one deserves it more. It’s a proud thing to do this.”
Prior to Tuesday’s vote, residents suggested candidates they felt were worthy of having a school named in their honor.
Former City Council member Charlye Heggins and former school board member Willie Hudspeth put their support behind the middle school being named after Alice Alexander, who taught kindergarten and first grade in the Denton school district for 45 years and who was the daughter of Fred Moore, a civic leader and the city’s first African American principal. Alexander passed away in 2007 at age 100.
Myers was first nominated to have a district facility named in her honor during the 2008-09 school year.BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org