Including Union Park’s New Elementary slated to open in 2019
The Denton Independent School District Board of School Trustees, in following with the tradition of naming facilities after educators who’ve impacted the community, voted unanimously to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary after an educator who served our local community for more than 40 years, Alice Moore Alexander. The Trustees also unanimously voted to name the district’s next campus after the sub-division that will surround it, Union Park Elementary School. The agreement with Hillwood Development deems that since the 21.1 acre plot is being donated, the campus will be named for the development. “As a board, we’ve always wanted to put the name on a building of someone who has directly impacted the people in our community and Mrs. Alexander certainly fits that description,” said Board President Mia Price. “The renaming of a building is often a difficult decision to make, and we believe with the naming of new elementary, this was the perfect opportunity to honor Mrs. Alexander and keep her name close to the Southeast Denton community that she championed throughout her career and life.”
The school will bear Mrs. Alexander’s name for the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. Mrs. Alexander taught kindergarten and first grade for 45 years, spending much of her career at Fred Moore School, a school named for her father in 1949. She began her teaching career in 1928, after attending Texas College in Tyler, Texas Southern University and the University of Chicago for her formal education. Mrs. Alexander’s life and that of her family members is intertwined in the history of Denton and the integration of the school system. Upon her passing in 2007 at 100 years of age, she was remembered for “furthering the cause of ethnic harmony” and “being a vivacious leader with an influence on her students.” Alexander Elementary, formerly Lee Elementary, originally opened in 1884 on the site of the first free public school in Denton, between Hickory and Sycamore Streets. The school hired Clara Skiles, the area’s first female principal in 1925, considered a very progressive idea for the time. The school was moved throughout the city over a course of more than a century, and was re-constructed at its current location near Mack Park in 1988 as an open-concept school.
In 2005, the 84,000 square-foot campus was completely renovated and science classrooms were added in 2012. “Mrs. Alexander pioneered the work-life integration concept by always being a loving mentor to every child she came in contact with no matter the setting,” said John Punch, one of hundreds who submitted letters of nomination. “She was the quintessential educator. For decades, she was a staple in Denton life and was loved by all races and people of every creed.” Union Park is a 1,100-acre master planned community in Little Elm with frontage on US Highway 380. It is directly across the street from Braswell High School, the district’s fourth comprehensive high school, which opened in 2016. The land’s location is on the western side of Union ParkPhase 4, near Bryan Road and Union Park Blvd., and will be built in the fashion of the district’s prototype elementary, Bell Elementary School. The property adjacent to the school’s land is set to become a neighborhood park. The district is scheduled to break ground on Union Park Elementary in January with completion set for the campus to open in the Fall of 2019. The campus, which will mark the sixth elementary in the Braswell zone, is the final major project from the Capital Improvement Plan approved by district voters in 2013.