Our Legacy

new wbt
Marshall ISD voters approved a $109,210,000 bond issue in May of 2015 which funds the construction of new schools, renovations and grade level realignment.

With the consolidation of our schools, we think it is important to enter this new era of public education in Marshall while also never forgetting the legacy of our past. The consolidation of schools does not mean we are erasing our history. In fact, we believe these new school buildings can be lasting monuments to the schools, people and events that have served to mold Marshall students since public education began locally before the turn of the 20th century.

It is our desire to incorporate as many memories and monuments into these new facilities as we can from our closing schools. This is not an end, but rather, a new beginning. Marshall ISD has been fortunate to include many hard-working educators who have left a trail for us to follow in serving Marshall’s children in our schools. It is our goal to remember as many of these as possible, along with all of our past school communities, with the opening of our new buildings.

BUILDING A LEGACY does not primarily focus solely on the future of our schools; it is a constant continuation and merging of the past, present AND future. We hope these ideas are not seen as a good-bye to the school communities of our past, but rather a new future built on the hard work and effort of our students, staff and community throughout our history.

T.J. Williamson opened William B. Travis Elementary School in 1956 and served as principal of the school until his retirement in 1987. At the time of his retirement, he had continuously served as WBT principal for 31 years and was the only principal the school had ever known up until that time. Mr. Williamson’s tenure at Travis eventually produced three former students who returned to the school as teachers on his faculty. He was principal to WBT parents and grandparents of students, and he oversaw the growth of the school from its original 273 students housed in just nine classrooms to over 650 students on a K-6 campus. Among his highlights as the leader of the Travis community were the development of a long-standing PTA which worked continuously with staff to improve the school; the growth of the school’s library; grouping for instruction; and the success of his former students. 

Mr. C.A. Maule was the longest-serving principal at the old South Marshall Elementary School, serving in that capacity for 19 years from 1957 until his retirement in 1976. He arrived in Marshall in 1957 after seven years as a principal in Texarkana. During his tenure he was an active member of the South Marshall PTA, serving in most offices of leadership. He was honored by being presented a lifetime members in the Texas Congress of PTA by South Marshall's local PTA organization. At South Marshall, he took over a facility that had been originally built in 1916 and oversaw the addition of new spaces and wings to the school, as well as the growth of faculty from 19 to 26 overseeing an enrollment of 350-360 students. These students included the first public school kindergarten offered in Marshall schools. Under Mr. Maule's leadership, South Marshall piloted the first reading lab as well as instituting the individual guided education program in reading skills. Following his retirement, Mr. Maule stayed in the MISD family as a substitute teacher, continuing to add to his personal legacy of making a difference in the lives of Marshall students.

Coach Chris Arledge’s career in MISD as a P.E. coach began in 1973, when she began teaching Physical Education at William B. Travis Elementary. She served at WBT until the 1980s, when she moved over to become the P.E. coach at Price T. Young Middle School. While at PTY, in 1982-83, Coach Arledge played a huge part in the growth and development of the “Hearty Hearts” jump rope team in Marshall ISD. The Hearty Hearts traveled around the area performing jump rope routines and providing entertainment at countless events as a show team. Performances included stops at local nursing homes, parades, fairs and fundraising events, among others. Under Coach Arledge’s guidance, the Hearty Hearts became one of the premier jump rope teams in the state. Her commitment and love for her students was reciprocated through their hard work and performance either as a jump rope team or in her P.E. classes taught first at WBT and then at PTY. Coach Arledge hung up her jump rope and whistle when she retired from teaching in 1995, but her commitment to the sport and to the American Heart Association’s “Jump Rope for Heart” promotion carries a lasting legacy even today in Marshall ISD’s physical education activities.

In 1894, Wiley College professor H.B. Pemberton approached Marshall Superintendent C.F. Adams to request the establishment of an organized school for Negro children. Adams offered Mr. Pemberton the principalship of one of the schools, and Pemberton asked for a school building separate from church connections. There were no public funds for a new building, however, so Pemberton went out and borrowed money on his own note and purchased a dilapidated church building on the present site of the Travis Terrace Building. The note was soon paid with support and contributions from citizens, the land was deeded to the city, and a two-story, four-room brick building was erected in 1895 and named Central School. Eventually, Central School served students in grades 1-11 and enrollment would grow to exceed 1,000 students. In 1925, a site on Rosborough Springs Road was purchased for a new school to house high school students only. The old Central School property became known as Hillside School. At this time, Mr. J.H. Moore became principal of Hillside School which was reorganized. The school accommodated elementary-aged students as well as sixth- and seventh-grades. On January 30, 1941, Superintendent E.N. Dennard gave orders for students to vacate Hillside School, and relocate to the new Dunbar Elementary School. The move took place on Friday of the same week without students missing even one day of classes. Shortly afterward, the property began to change hands and all three Hillside buildings were eventually torn down.

South Marshall School came into existence as a result of united efforts of the patrons. The children in this section of town could not attend either West End School (Stephen F. Austin) or East End School (Sam Houston) because of the long distance to walk. Mrs. Kathryn Ruffin and Mrs. Robert Boone were instrumental in organizing patrons to draft a petition to present to City Commissioners. The petition culminated in a $60,000 bond issue in January 1916 for the purpose of building two new elementary schools: Van Zandt and South Marshall. South Marshall would be located at the corner of Meadow and Pecan Streets. Mr. Chesley Adams, former Superintendent, sold a portion of his land to the school board and donated the remainder for the school site. The school opened on December 11, 1916, with an enrollment of 87. As a result of community growth, it became necessary in 1945 to add four classrooms, clinic, bookroom, restroooms, teachers' lounge, principal's office and a cafeteria. Crowding became more acute in 1953, and a portable classroom was built on the east side of the campus. Enrollment increased again in 1954, and the clinic and part of the office were used as a classroom until the second portable could be moved in. In 1962, the construction of nine new classrooms was completed -- four extending east from the south end of the building and five from the north end. The old two-story structure was removed. Two classrooms and a library were added beneath the elevated south wing in 1979. In the fall of 1987, the north wing was expanded to include six classrooms and restrooms for kindergarten and first grade and several portables were removed. In the fall of 1990, South Marshall became the first MISD elementary school to have a gymnasium. With MISD's reorganization in 1981, South Marshall School began serving students in grades K-4. Until then, it had been a K-6 school. Head Start classes were taught at the school from fall 1999 to spring 2002. South Marshall Elementary became South Marshall STEM Academy in the fall of 2014, serving as a magnet campus for students in MISD's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program which began that year. The school was repeatedly recognized for its academic excellence and achievement, with designation as a High Performing, High Progress school in back-to-back years in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 prior to closing upon opening of Marshall ISD's Legacy 2017 schools.

With the removal of high school grades from the old Marshall University building to the newly built East End School, a new name for an old building appeared in 1905 -- West Houston Avenue School, later to be called West End School. This old facility, built in 1851, served as West End until it was torn down in 1923 to make way for the wing of Marshall Junior High that now faces West Houston. At that time it moved into the 1911 high school building and remained until it was torn down in 1939. By 1923, the school was known as Stephen F. Austin. In September 1929, seventh grade students were sent to the Stephen F. Austin building. Since it did not use all of the classrooms, the school board voted to assign seventh graders to the second floor, while reserving the first floor for primary grades and the third floor for upper elementary students. In 1939, Stephen F. Austin Elementary students moved into a new building farther down West Houston. The school was destroyed by fire in the summer of 1969 and students were transferred to G.W. Carver Elementary, which was renamed Austin-Carver Elementary School. After MISD schools reorganized in 1981, Stephen F. Austin was dropped from the school's name.

Van Zandt School was born out of the same 1916 bond issue that produced South Marshall School, only Van Zandt was intended to serve students on the north side of Marshall. Van Zandt served north Marshall students along with North Marshall School, which eventually was renamed Robert E. Lee Elementary School. Van Zandt School was located on North Grove Street adjacent to the College of Marshall, which would eventually become known as East Texas Baptist College, then East Texas Baptist University. Van Zandt served its students in north Marshall until 1961, when the boundaries of the Robert E. Lee and Van Zandt school zones were dissolved and students began attending either Lee or J.H. Moore elementaries. For a time, the name of Lee school was changed to Lee-Van Zandt School. The Van Zandt School was renovated in 1968 for use as administrative offices, and the original part of the building was razed in 1981. The cafeteria addition was later traded to ETBU for land in east Marshall. This addition was eventually converted to serve as ETBU’s Band Hall.


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