Tyler ISD Reflects on the Passing of Former Principal, Trustee Therelee Washington

Tyler ISD is saddened to learn of the passing of former educator and longtime trustee, Therelee Washington. Mr. Washington’s educational career in Tyler ISD spanned more than 23 years, followed by 19 years of service on the Tyler ISD Board of Trustees.

“Our community has lost a leader and friend in Therelee Washington,” Tyler ISD Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford said. “His heart for student success as an educator, board member, and community member impacted the lives of many and he will be greatly missed.”

Mr. Washington joined the Tyler ISD family in 1971 as a math teacher at Douglas Elementary School. After teaching there for six years, he moved into administrative roles serving as principal at Bonner Elementary School for six years and W.A. Peete Elementary School for 11 years. He retired from Tyler ISD in 1994 and served on the Tyler ISD Board of Trustees until 2013.

“I had the pleasure of working with Therelee for many years as a school board member,” Tyler ISD Trustee Andy Bergfeld said. “He was a true servant to his community, but more than that he was a genuine friend. His legacy will carry on in the many students and adults he had an influence on, including me. Our prayers are with Jean and the entire Washington family.”

During his tenure as a Trustee, the Tyler ISD Board was named the 2005 Region VII Board of the Year for its many accomplishments that included passing a $96 million bond to improve and build new elementary campuses, increasing the District’s emphasis on fiscal responsibility, and implementing performance indicators to gauge progress in testing scores, attendance, and completion rates among other areas.

“My heart is saddened today,” former Tyler ISD Trustee Rev. Orenthia Mason said. “It was my joy to sit beside Therelee at the Board of Trustees dais, and I am so happy he was able to see a dream of his come true in the Tyler ISD Career and Technology Center. Our Board of Trustees was a wonderful team and Therelee kept us all laughing during challenging times and focused on academic excellence. His tenure speaks well for itself. Well done, my friend.”