Temple ISD Honors Dunbar Jr./Sr. High School valedictorians, salutatorians with memorial bench
JON WALLIN | TEMPLE ISD
Temple Independent School District and the Dunbar Jr./Sr. High School Class of 1965 are honoring the legacy of some former students and their successes with a new monument at one of the district’s campuses.
A granite bench featuring the names of valedictorians and salutatorians of Dunbar Jr./Sr. High School from 1952-1968 was recently installed outside of the entranceway to Meridith-Dunbar Early Childhood Academy.
For years, the Meredith- Dunbar campus served as the site of the all-black high school in Temple and 1968 was the last year the building served as a high school. Now the bench will serve as a lasting legacy to the accomplishments of the students of Dunbar Jr./Sr. High School and to the teachers and staff who served those students.
Temple ISD Superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott worked closely with Pro Football Hall of Famer and Dunbar Jr./Sr. High School graduate Joe Greene during the design and renovation process of Meridith-Dunbar and the idea for the legacy project came out of that collaboration.
Ott also mentioned how many alumni of Dunbar Jr./Sr. High School shared stories of the academic talent that came through the campus, along with their extraordinary teachers and educators, during that process. Temple ISD verified the names of the valedictorians and salutatorians, and the district’s board of trustees approved the creation and installation of the bench at Meridith-Dunbar.
“This project has now come to fruition, and it could not come at a better time – around the holidays – when many come back to Temple to be with family members,” Ott said. “I suspect it will be one of the most visited places in this community for years to come.”
“I am proud of the TISD Board of Trustees and our staff for the way we celebrate former and current student achievements,” Ott said. “Celebrating those that we are responsible for is tightly woven in the fabric and culture of TISD. This is another example of how working together, in unity, yields something special. In my mind, this is a thoughtful approach to doing the right thing. We are proud of those that walked the hallways before us.”
Extensive renovations to the Meridith-Dunbar campus were included the district’s 2015 Bond package. The completed renovations were unveiled to the public during a rededication ceremony in September of 2021 that also celebrated the history of Dunbar Jr./Sr. High School.