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Trustees name district’s ninth middle school for Pat Hagan Cheek
The Denton Independent School District Board of Trustees announced the official name of the district’s ninth middle school, Pat Hagan Cheek Middle School, honoring a retired Denton ISD educator and community advocate.
“ I am overwhelmed by this honor,” said Pat Cheek when trustees called her moments before the announcement. “I’ve loved serving this community and I’ve loved serving middle schoolers in this community, so being honored for doing things for the people I have loved means the absolute world to me.”
During her 37 years in the district, Mrs. Cheek taught at Denton Junior High, Strickland Junior High (now Strickland Middle School), Denton High School, Congress Junior High (now Calhoun Middle School), and at the elementary grade level.
While teaching in the district, Mrs. Cheek volunteered as a tutor for special education classes at Strickland Middle School and mentored at-risk students at Calhoun Middle School. She served on the Newton Rayzor PTA where her children attended elementary school.
Upon her retirement in 2002, Mrs. Cheek became active in a new Denton ISD mentoring program called Grandparents in Public Schools (GIPS). Recruited by then-director of communications, Sharon Cox, Mrs. Cheek played a vital role in helping to implement a program that paired grandparent volunteers with elementary-aged students at Denton ISD schools. The program exploded and has nearly doubled in grandparent volunteers since its inception more than twenty years ago thanks in large part to the role Mrs. Cheek played in helping get the program started.
“Pat Cheek dedicated her life to building strong relationships and bringing people together,” said Jamie Wilson, superintendent of schools. “Her love for children, especially those who may not have had a voice or been underrepresented, set a tone and an example we wish for our students to emulate.
Mrs. Cheek has also been very active in the community over the years. She began teaching Sunday School at Trinity United Presbyterian church in 1959. It was through Mrs. Cheek’s association with the church that she and other women in the community formed the Denton Christian Interracial Fellowship, a group of black and white women, who sought to ease the integration of black students into Denton public schools during the 1960s.
Mrs. Cheek, a graduate of Milby High School, arrived in Denton in 1957 to attend school at Texas Woman’s University studying English, Spanish and history. She soon met and married Bill Cheek and the two raised a family of Dentonites.
Cheek Middle School, serving sixth through eighth grades, will be located off FM 1385 between Noles and Fishtrap Roads in Prosper supporting the Braswell High attendance zone. It will be the third middle school in the zone. Construction on the school is set to begin this spring with an opening date of fall, 2023.