Longview ISD holds ceremony, renames elementary school in honor of first Black board member

Local News

LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK)- The Clarence W. Bailey Elementary School had a ceremony on Monday to celebrate the renaming of their school.

They were previously known as South Ward Elementary, and the change was made to recognize the district’s first African-American school board member.

Bailey joined the board in 1977 and served in Place 6 for 21 years. He was also board president.

For seven years he was a teacher and coach for the district, and he left LISD in 1998.

Bailey’s daughter was also present during the ceremony on Monday as well as Shan Bauer, the Longview School Board President.

“It’s just to honor him and the many things he did not only for the district of course but for the community. He was a pillar in the community and he opened doors for many people including those of us of color,” she said.

About Clarence W. Bailey

Bailey was born on September 25, 1933.

He grew up in Longview and graduated from Mary C. Womack High School in 1950.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Wiley College in Marshall and a Master’s degree in psychology and counseling from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Bailey had a career in insurance. He created Bailey’s Insurance Agency in 1967.

He had many accolades, and he qualified for the Million-Dollar Round Table, National Quality Award, Texas Leaders Round Table and more.

Bailey also received lifetime status for National Western Life’s President’s Council Award. This allowed his family to travel to Hawaii, Barbados West Indies, Austria, Switzerland, Morocco, Russia, England and other resorts in the United States as well.

He was an academic & tactical instructor for the U. S. Air Force. He was part of different committees for the Longview Chamber of Commerce, Longview High School, East Texas Area Boy Scouts of America, the Longview NAACP, Wiley College, and additional local boards and organizations.

Bailey was an ordained minister and Associate Pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Longview.

He also had a passion for helping other people, and he focused on assisting them with their finances.

“He was married to his devoted wife, the late Mavis L. Bailey, for 64 years, and was the proud father of Sherry Bailey Smith (husband Pastor Johnny Smith), two granddaughters Tasha Smith Griffin (husband Aaron Griffin and son Taron), and Sherina Smith Boyd (husband Nicholas Boyd and two children Faith and Noah),” said Longview ISD.

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