The Austin ISD Board of Trustees at its Dec. 17 regular meeting approved the renaming of Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School to Sarah Beth Lively Middle School. The renaming will go into effect for the 2019–20 school year.
Lively served as a teacher at Fulmore for 25 years and volunteered at the campus following her retirement. She was a dedicated and inspiring social studies teacher who sponsored and mentored student journalists on the school newspaper.
The board voted to rename the campus after more than a year of discussion and community engagement surrounding campus names that had ties to the Confederacy. The facility joins Lee Elementary School and the John T. Allan Facility as the third AISD facility connected to the Confederacy to be renamed.
Robert E. Lee Elementary School was renamed to Russell Lee Elementary School in 2016, and the John T. Allan Facility will become the Anita Ferrales Coy Facility next year.
About the Renaming Process
AISD administrators in November 2017 introduced the topic of renaming five district sites named after individuals who were associated with the Confederate States of America’s Army or government. The five sites are of the John T. Allan Facility, Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School, Eastside Memorial Early College High School at the Johnston Campus and Sidney Lanier and John H. Reagan early college high schools.
The board asked for more information and community engagement on the topic, which was fulfilled through months of meetings with principals, campus advisory councils, student groups and community members. The district also created a website for the engagement process where community members could learn more and provide input.
The board voted in February to initiate the renaming process for the five sites. However, Eastside Memorial requested an extension in April because of the modernization process the school is undergoing as part of the 2017 Bond.
Name submissions for the sites were fielded from the community, and options were selected as they aligned with the renaming criteria, outlined in district policy. Further criteria were also developed through a school renaming task force, and were used to advise the campus renaming committees in choosing final name recommendations. The task force was made up of community members, teachers, students and staff.
Recommendations for names were presented to the board in October.