Return to Headlines

Adkins School Namesake Celebrates 100th Birthday with Campus Wide Celebration

Students and staff at Adkins Elementary recently commemorated 100 years of life for Dorothy Adkins, the school’s namesake.  The celebration featured a display of artifacts used in the daily lives of those living in the early 1900s.  Students then performed their Winter Music Program for the honoree and the guests on hand to help mark the special occasion. 


Mrs. Adkins, a longtime Denton ISD teacher, and schoo­l board member, was instrumental in the desegregation of Denton schools in the 1960s, breaking down racial barriers in the community.


“Over the years, students at Adkins Elementary have had many opportunities to see Dorothy Adkins in their school and to learn about her as an activist, as a teacher, and as a compassionate, caring person,” said Barbara Burns, President - Denton ISD Board of Trustees.  “Today they were able to see first-hand why it was fitting to name the school for someone who continues to serve others.”


The Adkins Aviator Choir, led by music teacher Randy Schmidt, began the program by singing “Happy Holidays” to get everyone in the holiday spirit.


Current principal, Erin Vennell, then shared perspective about the leadership role Mrs. Adkins played in the education of our community.  Ms. Vennell was the school’s assistant principal when it originally opened.  After speaking about Mrs. Adkins, Vennell then played a video tribute which featured all of the volunteer work and service the school namesake has performed on campus over the years.


Mrs. Emily McClarty, current principal at Borman Elementary, shared about serving as the original principal at Adkins Elementary when the school opened in 2014.  Mrs. McClarty referenced the importance of the three values that Dorothy Adkins lives by: learning, connecting and serving. 


Campus Art and Essay winners also presented Mrs. Adkins with keepsakes to mark her special day.


“The entire day was amazing,” said fourth-grader Jackson Spillman.  “She’s involved in activities here and she always comes to our school which is awesome.  She’s 100 years old but she’s still able to spend time with us and be with us here all the time which makes us happy.”


All of the attendees then sang happy birthday to Mrs. Adkins not once, but twice.  The program concluded with carols led by the rousing Adkins Aviator choir.


Adkins Elementary opened in August 2014 in the master-planned Lantana community.  At the time of its opening, Adkins Elementary was the district’s 22nd elementary school campus.