Special to The Dallas Examiner
LANCASTER – Dallas ISD opened a new elementary school in District 109 this fall in the city of Wilmer, honoring Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Sept. 8.
“My focus is always on serving the constituents of District 30 without expecting any recognition. I am grateful to all of you for considering me worthy of this honor,” Johnson expressed. “Whoever thought in my lifetime I would have a school of this magnitude bearing my name – I thank you for that Black girl from Waco, Texas, whose goal in life was to relieve pain and promote health for all.”
The school is 84,000-square-feet of classrooms and learning spaces to accommodate 600 students in grades pre-K through five. There will also be a soccer field, basketball court and playground.
The project is Dallas ISD’s first new school since 2015 and is part of the 2015 Bond Program.
“I have kept my eyes on public education and our schools. Let me take a moment to reflect on such progress that has been made since my day. Growing up during segregation, I didn’t have the same opportunities as the students who will, one day, attend this school. The big thing was trying to get a book with all its pages because in my school all the African American kids got books that white kids discarded,” Johnson recalled, as she discussed the various obstacles that she overcame to reach her goals.
“I only say this to say to young people who will attend the magnificent school – you have a better opportunity, please make the best of it. When you get discouraged remember what an opportunity you have and yes you can rise – be focused and determined.”
Johnson, the school’s namesake, represents the 30th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1992. Prior to that, she was elected to the Texas State House of Representatives in 1972. She also served three terms in the Texas senate.
“I look forward to the opening of the new Eddie Bernice Johnson Elementary School in Wilmer for the fall 2020/2021 school year,” said Rep. Carl Sherman of District 109. “Dallas ISD took on the schooling of Wilmer students some time ago and this added school shows their commitment to education. I can appreciate this as education is one of my top priorities.”
According to the school’s principal, Umoja S. Turner, the new elementary school was also named as one of Office Depot’s Start Proud! schools this year. This program will provide all students of the new elementary school an opportunity to receive backpacks filled with school supplies and the store’s gift cards.
“This is an amazing way to offer students in Wilmer a wonderful new school year opportunity and we wish them all the best,” Sherman added.
The school is located at 201 S. Goode Road in Wilmer. A virtual Dedication Ceremony of the new school was held Friday.
“It is my hope that the students attending this school get all the opportunities they deserve, so that we can mold and grow the next generation of scientists, physicians, dentists and community leaders,” Johnson concluded. “It’s no coincidence that governments who invest in their young people and their education have better outcomes and develop at a much faster pace than those who refuse to invest in their future.
“I shall leave you with a quote from my father that I used in my honors speech when I graduated from high school – I do not know where he got it, but it has stayed with me. ‘Once a task has begun, never leave it till it’s done – be the labor great or small – do it well or not at all.’”