Board of Education to consider renaming Young Men’s College Preparatory Academy

The HISD Board of Education will consider Thursday renaming the Young Men’s College Preparatory Academy after late Congressman Mickey Leland, who represented the Fifth Ward neighborhood where the school is being built.

A committee consisting of teachers, staff, parents, and community and business representatives met to consider a new name for the school and voted unanimously to make the recommendation in recognition of Leland’s personal connection to the community.

“Mickey Leland was a product of the Fifth Ward and of HISD,” said Dameion Crook, principal of the academy.  “He is a source of pride for this community, and I can think of no better role model for our young men. Our school is an excellent way to carry on his legacy.”

If approved, the school would immediately be renamed the Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men.  Under the 2012 bond program, the school is being rebuilt for up to 1,000 secondary students.

Young Men’s serves male students in grades 6 through 12. It was opened in the 2011-2012 school year with a mission to provide a comprehensive, rigorous, high-quality college preparatory education that results in all students going on to graduate from college.

The Board will vote during its regular monthly meeting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 11, in the Board auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 West 18th St., 77092).

Leland, who graduated from HISD’s Phillis Wheatley High School and Texas Southern University, served six years in the Texas House of Representatives and was elected to six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was Chairman of the House Select Committee on Hunger and was passionate about both domestic and international hunger issues, health care for the poor, and aid for the homeless. In 1989, Leland was killed in a plane crash while leading a humanitarian relief mission to an isolated refugee camp in Ethiopia, which sheltered unaccompanied children fleeing war in Sudan.

In other business, the board is also considering new boundaries for HISD’s nine trustee districts after a vote on the item was postponed during the August meeting. The new trustee districts were redrawn as a result of the annexation of North Forest ISD in 2013 and comply with federal election law mandating that population be distributed evenly throughout the entire school district.

Additionally, the board will vote to approve a partnership with the Houston Federation of Teachers to educate and train school campus staff on human trafficking. The pilot training program will be launched at schools located in communities whose students are considered vulnerable to falling victim to human trafficking.

The board is scheduled to receive status updates on a number of projects and vote on several programs, contracts, and grants. For a full copy of the board meeting agenda, click here.  The board meeting will be carried live on HISD’s website.