Lufkin ISD board considers re-naming ACE Alternative School to Hackney in memory of educator

Supporters want to rename the building to its former namesake, which honored one of the district’s first black educators.
Published: Oct. 17, 2023 at 6:33 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2023 at 6:53 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - In Lufkin ISD, there’s a push to change the name of Hackney Primary. The school board will consider the matter.

Supporters want to rename the building to its former namesake, which honored one of the district’s first black educators. Deputy Superintendent Kurt Stephens said, “It’s been Hackney, and the plan is it will always be Hackney.”

Olivia R. Hackney was one of the first black female educators and principals to serve in the Lufkin community.

“When we put the new signage up, it will have Olivia R. Hackney, so people realize that this was an important educator in our community,” said Stephens.

He said when the ACE Alternative School moved to Hackney Primary, the Hackney signage was removed, and the Alternative Center signage was placed on the building.

“The removal of that, of the name of that building,was something that shouldn’t have happened,” said Stephens.

After concerns from the community, the school district created a committee made up of community members and school administrators to help understand the history behind the Hackney naming.

“My understanding is that she was a pretty fiery woman that had some pretty high standards and expectations. But also, that she was very well respected for her expectations and the standards she held students to,” he said.

Stephens said while Hackney was still living, the campus was named after her.

“Policy now is that someone has to be deceased before a building can be named after, but she was well thought of within the community,” he said.

Board members believe rededicating this signage to Hackney gives the community a historic background.

“We want to be sure that there’s information on the building namesake also within the building, so people know what was important about Ms. Hackney,” said Stephens.

This includes adding a plaque inside of the building to highlight what she meant to the community and her accomplishments.

“As soon as we get that approval, we’ll move forward with signage on the building as well as the sign, the sign out front,” he said.

The school district is still getting quotes on the cost to change the signage, if it’s approved. The signage could be approved at the regular board meeting Thursday. Stephens said they’re also looking forward to a re-dedication ceremony coming soon.