FORT WORTH — Fort Worth school officials are considering renaming a two-year-old campus in honor of a Fort Worth historian who served on the school board and in the Texas legislature.The nine-member school board is scheduled to vote on a proposal to change the name of John T. White Elementary School to Reby Cary Elementary School at a Tuesday meeting. Board members were unclear about the how the school received its current name. Board President Christene Moss said her understanding is that the school was named for John T. White Road where it is located.“They placed the name on it because it’s on the street,” Moss said. “It is not named after a person. They just named it because it was on John T. White Road.”White was the Tarrant County superintendent of public instruction from 1927 to 1934, according to information in the Tarrant County Archives.A graduate of I.M. Terrell High School, Cary worked for the school district as a Dunbar High School teacher and counselor. He became the first African American full-time history professor at the University of Texas at Arlington in 1969, and was the first African American elected to the Fort Worth school board in 1974. He was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1979 and served as president of the Texas Council of Black Republicans from 1986 to 1991, according to Cary’s website and the Fort Worth Library.Cary has written several books on African American history in Fort Worth and Tarrant County. Letters, photos and other materials were donated to the Fort Worth Library in 2008 and make up the Reby Cary Papers collection.Becoming nominated as a possible school namesake is an honor, Cary said.“That is fantastic,” Cary, 92, said. “My friends have been pushing for this. I’m just appreciative of it it, really.”Renaming an existing facility requires approval by three-fourths of the school board, according to district policy.John T. White Elementary School, near Sandy Lane, was one of four new campuses funded by a 2007 bond package that opened in August 2011. The 32 classroom campus was built on the school district’s east side to relieve overcrowding at nearby elementary schools.
Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326 Twitter: @jessamybrown