Names honoring educators recommended for new Hays CISD schools, facilities

Hays CISD says names honoring local educators have been recommended for its new schools and facilities.

The 2023 Naming Committee presented its first recommendation package reading at the Board of Trustees workshop meeting on Nov. 13. Policy requires the Board to wait until the following month for a formal vote on the names, which is scheduled for December.

"It’s always rewarding to name school district facilities after people who spent their lives making local contributions to the school district," said Tim Savoy, Hays CISD chief communication officer. "These buildings will last into the next century. It’s a fitting tribute to honor the legacies and the impact that these incredible people had on untold numbers of students, colleagues, and neighbors through the years."

The committee was impaneled in July to consider names for several new schools and district facilities. In October, the committee unanimously voted to make the following recommendations:

Elementary #16 – Jim Cullen Elementary School

Jim Cullen (Hays CISD)

Cullen is a retired Hays CISD teacher, a past president of the Hays CISD Texas State Teachers Association chapter, an early and longtime member of the Hays Education Foundation, a past regional teacher of the year, and the recipient of a life-time achievement award from the district.

After retirement, Cullen was the district photographer for more than a decade.

Elementary #17 – Lamont Ramage Elementary School

Lamont Ramage (Hays CISD)

Lamont, who passed away in April 2023, was a longtime justice of the peace, a former school board member and board president, and the former mayor of the City of Hays. 

He has a deep connection to the district, not only serving in his position on the Board, but also as a longtime volunteer, says Hays CISD.

The Child Nutrition Building – The Helen Alcala Child Nutrition Center

Helen Alcala (Hays CISD)

Helen was a longtime district child nutrition employee at the historic Buda School campus. 

Following her retirement with the district, at the age of 57 in 1980, she opened a successful restaurant of her own on Buda’s Main Street – Helen’s Casa Alde. 

Following her death, her son managed the restaurant. Her son passed away last year, but the family still owns and operates the establishment.

Central Office – The Hays CISD Academic Support Center

The committee chose to recommend that the district keep the central office building name as it has been colloquially known – the Hays CISD Academic Support Center (Central Office).

All three recommended namesakes have made it to previous short-lists for having a Hays CISD facility or school named in their honor.

The Child Nutrition Center is currently open. Elementary #16 is scheduled to open in August 2024. Elementary #17 will open in August 2025. The Hays CISD Academic Support Center will open in late spring 2024.

Residents submitted more than 200 name nominations during an open process from Sept. 22 to Oct. 10.