Dallas ISD middle school renamed to honor Sen. Royce West


“Welcome to the Royce West Leadership Academy.”

A soft-spoken middle school student greeted Sen. Royce West with these words as he arrived at the renaming ceremony held in his honor. For West, it was a touching realization marking the significance of hearing a student address the school in his honor for the first time.

“This moment is not lost on me and I understand the significance of this day,” said West, reflecting on the impact of the day. 

Surrounded by students, elected officials, and community members, the Royce West Leadership Academy was officially unveiled on Feb. 20, signifying the senator’s contributions to education in Dallas and his lifelong commitment to uplifting communities.

Dallas ISD Trustee Maxie Johnson, who was instrumental in championing the name change, attributed the success to the collective efforts of the community. “I grew up in this community, so this means a lot to me. I’m blessed to be the trustee who got this to the finish line, but the praise goes to the community members for bringing this to the forefront of their elected officials,” said Johnson.

West’s journey from a former student to an elected official serves as inspiration for current and future students.

“The senator’s name on the building, where he was once a student, isn’t just a way for our trustees to honor those who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of our community. It’s a way to show every single student who walks these halls that they can lead beyond these halls,” said Superintendent Stephanie S. Elizalde, Ed.D..

Formerly Kennedy-Curry Middle School, the school holds historical significance in the Dallas community. Following desegregation efforts, the campus then known as John F. Kennedy High School served Black students until it merged with the Milton K. Curry campus in 1968, forming the junior high school that stands today.

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