Nick Gholson

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Perry Goolsby, Linda Merrill my choices for naming WFISD's two new elementary schools

July 19, 2007

I have never had much respect for the people who run our schools.
It is my opinion that they waste a whole lot of our tax dollars.
And I have never thought our school boards -- past or present -- had the balls to really get things done.
Like why in the world isn’t Joe Golding’s name on our nameless football stadium?
The man won four state championships, is in the Texas High School Hall of Fame and was the person mostly responsible for building what was at one time in the early ’70s the best high school football stadium in the country.
But what should be Joe Golding Memorial Stadium does not have his name because past school boards didn’t want to offend a few naysayers.

Having to vote three times on a bond proposal shows that I am not the only person skeptical of anything the WFISD does.

So I don’t expect it to do the right thing when it comes to naming our two new elementary schools.
I have heard some of the suggestions and disagree with all of them.
When possible, I think our schools should be named after exceptional educators who have worked in the WFISD.
My vote right now is for Perry Goolsby and Linda Merrill.

When I mentioned Goolsby’s name around the newsroom, most of my comrades responded:
“Who’s he??

Well, all Goolsby did was serve 44 years in the WFISD.
As an assistant football coach under Golding, he helped the Coyotes win three state titles.
As head basketball coach during that time, he took a Wichita Falls team to the state tournament for the first time.
He was later the first principal at Rider High School (1961-1972) and then assistant superintendent for the WFISD.
And after that, he became one of the best mayors our town has ever had.

As for Linda Merrill, well, the timing is just right.
One of the most popular teachers Wichita Falls High has ever had, Linda died last month.
I know a lot of teachers touch a lot of young lives, but Linda was just one of those really special people.
She loved every kid that walked those halls.
She loved Wichita Falls High.
She loved everyone.
And everyone loved her.
I just used the word “love? four times in four sentences.
Is there anything more I can say about one person than she loved and was loved?
How can anybody argue with naming a school after a lady like Linda?

I know there are people who want one or both of these schools named for a black person.
My first choice there would be Ervin Garnett.
He did a lot for our schools and was helped make integration a much smoother process than it could have been.

The fact is we have a chance to honor a lot of wonderful people.
Why do we have to continue with Texas history in naming our elementary schools?
Change Alamo, Crockett, Sam Houston, Lamar, Ben Milam to honor or own.
The gyms in each of our three high schools have no name. Why not honor someone that way?

And then step back and reconsider Joe Golding Memorial Stadium -- if you have the balls.

Posted by at 8:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)


Well said, Nick, as always! I vote for Ervin Garnett. He's a great man. .. I had the privilege of working with the wonderful man late in his career. He's a true giant of a man, a real gentleman. You may remember he was inducted into the Texas Black Athletes Hall of Fame a few years ago. You've written yourself about his greatness! Let's see it happen!

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