The Tyler ISD Board of Trustees approved the new names of both flagship high schools during a Board Workshop Thursday, August 6. After considering community recommendations and names submitted to Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford by a focus group from each high school, Trustees took action to accept Tyler High School to replace the name of John Tyler High School and Tyler Legacy High School to replace the name of Robert E. Lee High School. Both high school mascots and school colors will remain the same.
“It was our goal to address this issue before summer ended and I'm glad we were able to before the school year began,” Board President Wade Washmon said. “Now it's time to turn our focus back toward successful student outcomes and finding a way to win this year, even during some of the most trying times we've seen in education.”
Principals Claude Lane and Dr. Dan Crawford say they are excited about what the future holds for both high school campuses.
“Today we are starting a new chapter in Tyler ISD,” Lane said. “Our past success makes us who we are today and will greatly influence our future success. Tyler High School will accept the call to honor the legacy of this name. We share in the pride of our city’s name and thank the Board and Tyler community for providing us a fresh start with a new name and a world class facility.”
"This has been a special, momentous opportunity for our diverse group of Red Raider students, parents, and staff to choose a name that represents our community as a whole and our goals as an educational entity in Tyler ISD," Crawford said. "The name Tyler Legacy High School is both a proud representation of the love we have for our city and a symbol of our vision to foster an environment where our students embrace the importance of ‘The Legacy of a Life-Long Learner’.”
During the submission period that ran from July 21 through August 3, the community submitted more than 2,200 suggestions using the online form located at tylerisd.org. Focus groups for each high school, under the direction of Tyler ISD Executive Director of Communications Jennifer Hines, narrowed the list according to approved Local policy CW. The focus group for Robert E. Lee recommended two names and the John Tyler focus group recommended three name suggestions for Dr. Crawford to present to the Board. Ultimately, the Board is responsible for choosing the final facility name for each school.
“We appreciate the community’s input and the work of our focus groups during this process,” Washmon said. “In the end, I believe the board chose names that allow us to honor the successes and good memories that former students have had at both campuses, and also clearly indicate that we're proud of the city of Tyler and want the name of our town displayed on our two flagship campuses.”
The next step is to inform the Texas Education Agency of the new names. The District plans to call both schools by their new names beginning this school year, including graduation transcripts, diplomas, and ceremonies. Name adjustments to physical buildings will be completed according to budget, design, demolition, and construction schedules. As for using materials with old names on them, more of a transitional phase will occur that Dr. Crawford says could take some time.
“First, we’re appreciative of the Board’s acceptance of the process that included community suggestions as considered by our campus focus groups,” Dr. Crawford said. “However, ultimately, we’re relieved their action today will allow us to move the transition forward, and most importantly, return our work toward the reopening of our schools, where we haven’t seen students in nearly six months.”
For more information or questions, please contact Jennifer Hines at 903-262-1064.