Thursday, August 16, 2012

Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School opens August 27 honoring civil rights activist

From Dallas website

Photos of the exterior of Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School.

As they learn their way around the many exciting features of the new Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School, students will no doubt also learn a few things about issues like social justice and equality, topics often championed by the school’s legendary namesake.

“It is indeed an honor to serve as the founding principal of the legendary Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School,” said Principal Barbara Moham. “Dr. Holmes is not only a legend; he is a man of character, distinction, honor, and humility. His selfless acts to ensure a better life for others are rare and worthy of this kind of recognition. We are proud to represent him and his family through our school.”

When school starts Monday, August 27, the school will become home to students in grades 6-8 in the Justin F. Kimball High School feeder pattern. Located at 2929 St. Rita Drive, the 192,086 sq. ft. facility will accommodate 1,250 students in an environmentally sustainable building.

The three-story building will feature 64 classrooms, new softball, baseball and football fields, and geothermal heating and air conditioning systems.

During an orientation earlier this month, the new school staff registered more than 400 students and treated them, along with their parents, to a brief tour. “Parents were so excited about the new school and seeing all the staff members adorned in welcome home shirts,” said Moham. “Dr. Holmes also stopped by earlier this spring and was overjoyed to see the building under construction.”

Best known as a spiritual leader, political powerhouse and civil rights activist who has touched countless lives through his dedication to social justice and equality, Dr. Holmes was appointed by the late Gov. Ann Richards as the first African-American to serve on the University of Texas Board of Regents.

The school will host its Neighborhood Fellowship event Thursday, August 16, 5 – 8 p.m., to give students, parents, and community members a first-hand look at the new building.

Moham is a master principal with more than 25 years in the education field. She hails from a long line of educators and credits her love for children and a strong support system as her key inspiration. “My desire is to see all children grow and become the best citizens they can be; citizens who give back more than they receive.”

Moham recently served as the principal of D.A. Hulcy Middle School, which was closed at the end of last school year under the consolidation plan.

The school’s mission statement of ensuring student success by creating a well-structured student-centered environment where effective high quality instruction is in every classroom and rigorous student learning is the norm is foremost on the minds of school staff as they prepare to welcome students in a few days.

The Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School is part of the 2008 Bond program and one of five new schools and one replacement school opening this fall.

For more information, visit