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Dedication for Bell Elementary set for Dec. 1

Dedication for Catherine Coleman Bell Elementary set for Dec. 1

 

The Denton Independent School District will host a formal dedication of Catherine Coleman Bell Elementary, 601 Villa Paloma Blvd, Little Elm, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1. Students will begin leading tours of the facility at 6:30 p.m.

 

Mrs. Bell, a 28-year veteran educator with the district, was instrumental in the desegregation of Denton ISD in the 1960s, bringing together students and their mothers of different backgrounds through a series of play dates and meetings.

 

“My husband and I, like all parents, wanted more for our son,” Mrs. Bell explained. “I grew up on the other side of the railroad tracks and we just didn’t want him to be limited the way we were. Fortunately, we found other parents who believed the same.”

 

Mrs. Bell joined a local church group that openly discussed issues surrounding desegregation. The ladies group purposefully planned gatherings at local parks and venues to encourage their children to become friends, and at the same time the students began attending class together.

 

In her retirement, Mrs. Bell can be found working the polling locations in Denton County. She takes great pride in encouraging young people to vote.

 

“When I first had the right to vote, we paid a poll tax and my Daddy taught me that even if the election was for dog-catcher, we need to stand and be counted,” said Mrs. Bell. “Citizens need to stand up for what they believe in and voting is important.”

 

Bell Elementary, the district’s 23rd elementary school, is located in the Town of Little Elm in the fastest growing area of Denton County. The 88,674 sq. foot facility stands on 15,803 acres in the eastern portion of the district. The school was built to relieve overcrowding at Cross Oaks and Paloma Creek Elementary schools.

 

 “The fact that I am not someone with a Ph.D. and this Board selected to honor me in this way is a dream come true,” she said.“Seeing these kids learning and playing together in a building named for me means everything, and it’s everything I’ve dreamed of.”