Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy dedication was a joy

Robert and Charmaine Price Auditorium
Kathlyn Joy Gilliam and dignitaries.
Kathlyn Joy Gilliam, Robert Price, Robert Medrano, Principal Gayle Smith, Carla Ranger,
former Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Nolan Estes

Hundreds of family, friends, community and educators came out for the dedication ceremony of our newly opened District 6 high school -- Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy, 1700 E. Camp Wisdom Road.

We gathered to thank Kathlyn Joy Gilliam, a deserving trailblazer, community leader and former long serving Dallas ISD Trustee of 23 years. She also served as the first African American Board President.

The event was a celebration and homecoming that welcomed out-of-town guests from as far away as California and Colorado.

It was a time of laughter, nostalgia, praise and gratitude for her life of commitment, integrity and service.   With humility and strength, Kathlyn Joy Gilliam thanked all for the honor of this tribute.

This was also the first formal program in the auditorium/lecture hall named for the Honorable Robert Price and wife, retired educator Charmaine Price.  Former Trustee Robert Price served with Kathlyn Joy Gilliam on the Dallas ISD Board and worked with her as first President of the Coalition to Maximize Education.   Robert and Charmaine Price have provided decades of service in education and to the Dallas community.

Former Dallas ISD Superintendent Nolan Estes told of experiences with  wisdom and wit about Kathlyn Gilliam's courage and servant leadership.

With admiration, former Board members Harryette Ehrhardt (and former state representative), Robert Medrano and Robert Price told their own stories of service and love for students.

KJG students sang and student readers provided a musical tribute of thanks in a rendition of "Because You Loved Me."

State Representative Yvonne Davis presented a Texas Proclamation  and was assisted by Judge Thomas G. Jones, former Dallas ISD Trustee who also served with Kathlyn Joy Gilliam.

School partners or representatives for Jennifer Wimbish, President, Cedar Valley College;  John Ellis Price, President , University of North Texas at Dallas; and Chris Coxon, Chief Program Officer, Texas High School Project all led guests in a Community Pledge of Commitment and Support.

Chief of Staff Claudia Rodriguez  and Director of  Design/Special Projects David Patton also participated.

Gilliam family member Rev. William Gamble of Colorado ended the program with remarks and blessings.

Students provided guided tours. The school architecture is joy-inspiring.  The great design creates a college setting within a school.  "There is Joy in teaching and learning at the Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy."

Abundant thanks to project manager Vandana Nayak and team, including lead designer Konrad Judd and project architect Jennifer Deng for their efforts in creating a unique and special educational facility.

Thanks to Principal Gayle Smith, who presided, and the outstanding faculty, staff and students of  Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy where "The Best is Yet to Come!"