By: Rachel Thompson
When approaching the newly dedicated Almeta Crawford High School one can only say “Wow!” considering who it is named after and how her name is displayed prominently on the building. Named after the popular retired African American teacher who taught at Dulles High School in Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD) for 39 years, Mrs. Almeta Crawford’s personality, favorite colors, and love for the New Jersey Writing Program can be found in every corner of the school. The school colors are teal and grey, her favorite colors, which she wore for the dedication. FBISD asked for nominations regarding naming of the school and hundreds of her former students nominated Mrs. Crawford. Principal Keith Fickel stated, “As most high school teachers serve 180 students per year, Mrs. Crawford taught 7,020 students during her tenure at Dulles High School.
If you include the 10 years prior, she taught another 1,800 students. Therefore, Mrs. Crawford touched the lives of at least 8,820 students which equates to 11% of FBISD’s current enrollment. If Dulles is the flagship, Crawford is the spaceship!” During Mrs. Crawford’s remarks, she told the story of the call she received from former FBISD Superintendent Charles Dupree informing her that she had been nominated and was the recipient of the honor. “When Superintendent Dupree called to say that the school would be named after me, I asked iI were dreaming!” Mrs. Crawford received that call two years ago and was an active participant in touring the school during the building process, as well as choosing the school colors and the mascot. The Crawford Chargers emblem features a lightning bolt and they use the hashtag #chargedup.
It was explained during the dedication that the lightning bolt represents power, energy and strength, all characteristics of their namesake. According to the school’s website, Crawford received numerous awards for her dedication and skill, being named Teacher of the Year at Dulles High School and receiving a state proclamation in 2013 for her outstanding service in education and devotion to students. She was awarded the 2018 Jan DeBlance Memorial Award for Instructional Excellence by Abydos Literacy Learning and was honored at the 31st Annual Abydos Literacy Learning Conference in San Antonio, Tx. The audience included seven rows of family, including her three children, as well as members of the FBISD executive leadership team, builders, contractors, and former colleagues and students.
Mrs. Caldwell was presented with certificates, proclamations, and the US Flag from representatives of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressman Al Green, and Mayor Sylvester Turner. As a resident of District K in Houston, Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum declared it, “Mrs. Almeta Crawford Day!” The FBISD School Board sat on stage with Mrs. Crawford throughout the dedication. Board President Judy Dae began by reading Mrs. Crawford’s favorite poem entitled, ‘Myself ’ by Edgar Albert Guest, however three lines into the poem, Mrs. Crawford took over and recited it from memory. The dedication closed with Mrs. Crawford’s jovial remark, “I’m 85 years young and I’m still having fun. To God be the glory!” A