Names of Dallas ISD schools honor women, their accomplishments


Wednesday, March 8, is International Women’s Day, a time to recognize and honor the achievements of women who have contributed to our culture and our lives.

Several Dallas ISD schools have been named to honor women. Below is a list of district schools, with brief summaries of major accomplishments of some of the women whose names grace the buildings.

  • Birdie Alexander Elementary School: Birdie Alexander (1870-1960) taught music in Dallas public schools, where she became supervisor of music in 1900. In Dallas she is credited with laying the foundation for the system of music education in the public schools. She established the teaching of singing in all grades and was the first to form citywide choral groups for public performance.
  • Maya Angelou High School: Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was an American poet, memoirist and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry and was credited with a list of plays, movies and television shows spanning over 50 years.
  • Annie Webb Blanton Elementary School: Annie Webb Blanton (1870-1945) was an American suffragist, educator and author of a series of grammar textbooks.  Blanton was elected Superintendent of Texas Public Instruction in 1918, making her the first woman in Texas elected to statewide office.
  • Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary: Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) was a forceful, intelligent leader who worked to improve educational opportunities for African Americans. In 1904, she opened a school for African American girls in Daytona Beach, Fla.
  • Jimmie Tyler Brashear Elementary School: Jimmie Tyler Brashear (1904-1999) was the only African American in the 1924 graduating class at the University of Wisconsin. In 1929, she joined the Dallas School District to train African American grade school teachers. She would advance to become the first African American school administrator. She retired in 1967 to begin teaching at what is now Paul Quinn College.
  • Adelfa Botello Callejo Elementary School: Adelfa Botello Callejo (1923-2014) was a Dallas lawyer and civil rights leader whose crusades ranged from protests over the fatal police shooting of a 12-year-old Mexican-American boy in 1973, to City Council redistricting in the late 1980s, to strategizing over Farmers Branch’s policies against illegal immigration in 2006.
  • Amelia Earhart Learning Center: Amelia Mary Earhart (1897-1937) was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, receiving the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross for that accomplishment.
  • Anne Frank Elementary School: Anne Frank (1929-1944) was a German-Jewish girl who, at the age of 15, died in a German concentration camp during World War II. Prior to her death, Anne had recorded her and her family’s fears, hopes and daily existence in a diary that was discovered and later published.
  • Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy: Kathlyn Joy Gilliam (1930-2011) was a wife and mother of three. She found her calling as a community and education activist in her pursuit to better educate her children. She is most notably remembered for her 23 years as a Dallas ISD trustee. Upon her election in 1974, she became the first African-American female trustee and was the first African-American to lead as Board President during the 1980-1982 term.
  • Barbara Jordan Elementary School: Barbara Charline Jordan (1936-1996) was a lawyer and educator who was a congresswoman from 1972 to 1978—the first African-American congresswoman to come from the deep South and the first woman ever elected to the Texas Senate. She captured the attention of President Lyndon Johnson, who invited her to the White House for a preview of his 1967 civil rights message.
  • Louise Wolff Kahn Elementary School: Louise Wolff Kahn (1910-1995) was a Dallas philanthropist who lived her life as a dedicated volunteer and financial supporter of numerous Dallas arts, cultural, educational and health organizations. Her business was in retailing and interior design, but it was her volunteer work that brought her the most widespread recognition and admiration. According to those who knew her, fund-raising and community activism became professional careers to her. 
  • Esperanza “Hope” Medrano Elementary School: Esperanza “Hope” Medrano’s (1921-1992) operated a small neighborhood grocery store near Sam Houston and William B. Travis elementary schools, T.J. Rusk Middle School, and North Dallas High School. Through this store, she conducted her own community service, sharing an abundance of wisdom and encouragement with the children who stopped in every day after school.
  • Ann Richards Middle School: Ann Richards (1933-2006) was an American politician and the 45th governor of Texas, from 1991 to 1995. She was the second female governor of Texas and was frequently noted in the media for her outspoken feminism and humor.

Other Dallas ISD schools named for women:

  • Nancy Cochran Elementary School
  • Leila P. Cowart Elementary School
  • Lenore Kirk Hall Elementary School
  • Margaret B. Henderson Elementary School
  • Lida Hooe Elementary School
  • Barbara Manns Education Center
  • Maria Moreno Elementary School
  • Nancy Moseley Elementary School
  • Clara Oliver Elementary School
  • Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Martha Turner Reilly Elementary School
  • Thelma Elizabeth Page Richardson Elementary School
  • Edna Rowe Elementary School
  • Rosie M. Collins Sorrells School of Education and Social Services
  • Jill Stone at Vickery Meadow
  • Adelle Turner Elementary School
  • Sudie L. Williams Elementary School
  • Sarah Zumwalt Middle School


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