We drive a lot at Medley Heating and Air Conditioning, visiting homes to take care of our clients’ HVAC needs, of course, or to pick up a round of tacos for the office (https://www.sainttaco.com). On our commutes, we drive past many of Carrollton’s public schools, and it began to dawn on us, maybe since many of our kids have Back-To-School on the brain- who are our public schools named after? We sling the names around all the time, but do we really know who the people were? Well, we did a little research!
Janie Stark Elementary
Janie Stark Elementary was named after a local educator who spent her entire teaching career at Carrollton High School, starting in the Roaring Twenties (1928, to be exact.) Her subjects were Spanish, math, typing and shorthand. She served as yearbook sponsor, and eventually became secretary to Superintendent R. L. Turner. She passed away in 1962, and the very next year a new elementary school was named in her memory. She must have been an awesome contributor to Carrollton education.
Jerry Junkins Elementary
Jerry Junkins Elementary School is named after the former CEO and Chairman of the Board for Texas Instruments, whose true passion was improving education. He utilized the resources at TI to help create model Head Start programs in the Dallas Independent School District. He was Chairman of the Citizens Council Education Committee, and promoted measurement and accountability in the classroom. He was recognized for his work in early childhood education with the John B. Connally Award from the Just for the Kids Foundation.
Tom Landry Elementary
If you or anyone you love is a football fan, then you probably know who Thomas Wade Landry (1924 – 2000) was, but if not, in addition to an incredible career ascent to get there, he became the first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, holding the position for 29 seasons. He compiled a 270–178–6 record, the fourth-most wins all-time for an NFL coach, and his 20 career playoff victories are the second most of any coach in NFL history. He was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1966 and the NFC Coach of the Year in 1975. With the Cowboys having so many Super Bowl appearances, and being on television more than any other NFL team, the Cowboys received the label of “America’s Team”, a title Landry didn’t like because he felt it would bring a jealous competitive spirit against the Cowboys. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. When coaching on the sidelines Landry always wore a suit and tie with his trademark fedora.
Harry C. Withers Elementary School
H.C. Withers Elementary School was named after North Texas journalist and community leader, Harry Clay Withers (1880-1959). He began his journalism career in 1901 reporting for the Denton Record chronicle, then the Houston Post, and then the Dallas morning News where he wound up working in virtually every department of the paper, retiring as executive editor.
Be sure to tip your hat the next time you pass one of these institutes of learning. We hope the inspiring accomplishments of their namesakes will inspire the Carrolltonians of tomorrow!