Photos and Story by Shawn Williams
Last Friday, residents, educators and community leaders gathered to celebrate the groudbreaking of the Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School. The school will be located at 2810 St. David Drive in Dallas.
T.W. Browne Middle School Leadership Cadet Corp, lead by Art Leobold presented the colors on the warm and breezy Friday morning. And the Jimmie Tyler Brashear Elementary School Glee Club (directed by Shaunda Butler) treated the crowd to a rousing kiddie version of Gloria Estefan’s Get On Your Feet.
Holmes was part of the Tri-Ethnic Committee that was established in the early 1970′s to help implement Dallas’ court ordered school desegregation. Holmes also served in the Texas House of Representatives and was a member of the Board of Regents for the University of Texas.
A host of community leaders praised Holmes for his dedicated work for the betterment of the city. Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa spoke of a time when his father (who was a pastor in Oak Cliff for over 40 years) worked with Dr. Holmes to ensure fair treatment of all Dallas residents. And Commissioner John Wiley price treated attendees to a mini-sermon, choosing Micah 6:8 as his text.
Dr. Frederick D. Haynes allowed his sanctified imagination look to the future, when students who he referred to as “Holmes Kids” would one day walk the halls of the new school. Dr. Haynes said that Holmes Kids will study their history in order that they will be able to make history. “My only regret is that I won’t get to go to Zan Wesley Holmes Middle School and call myself a Holmes Kid,” said Haynes.
When it was Dr. Holmes turn to speak, he said he was honored that school board trustee Carla Ranger had suggested that a school be named after him. But Dr. Holmes told the crowd gathered that it was not about him. “Instead the bottom line is that it is all about the children, the students,” Holmes said, “and whether or not they will (be provided) a greater quality of education that will enable each of them to reach their God given potential.”
The school which was designed by Perkins + Will is expected to be ready for the 2011-2012 school year.