From whence we came… Lewisville ISD Education Foundation was founded in 1990 to enrich the quality of public education in the 13 communities served by LISD and serves as a vehicle for securing private funding benefiting LISD teachers and students. The Foundation was created to support excellence in education by establishing and distributing supplemental funds in designated program areas and supporting priority projects identified by LISD for which tax dollars are not available. Funding does not replace or alter use of funds from traditional tax-base sources. All contributions stay in Lewisville ISD and are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Without the foresight of and foundation laid by LISD administrators and members of the LISD Board of Trustees, LISD would not enjoy the funding LEF provides — almost $300,000 this school year alone to students and educators in LISD and more than $2.5 million since LEF’s founding in 1990. Foundation Focus will dedicate space each month to share the legacy of those who laid the foundation for LISD and LEF to exist as they do today, as well as the stories of those currently at the helm.
Mrs. Marjory Vickery, LISD Board of Trustees 1971-1976
In 1971 Marjory Vickery visited the Lewisville ISD (LISD) offices to pick up paperwork to run for the LISD Board of Trustees. “I asked the man for the packet and he looked at me,” Vickery recalls, “And he said, ‘Oh, is Paul going to run?’” Vickery laughs and shakes her head, still amused at the man’s response. “No,” she told the man. “I’m going to run.” Thus began the campaign for the first female to serve on the LISD Board.
“I’ve always said, you don’t run on a gripe,” Vickery explained. “No one can be successful focused on the negative, focused on their complaints. To be effective you need a positive idea, something you can do for the organization.”
Her first step was to get elected and show herself as a legitimate board member who understood the role. She won the election. There were rumors that the men might try to smoke her out with their cigars, but they always treated her well and accepted her as part of the Board.
For the first few months she said and did little, learning the ropes and surveying the lay of the land. But from the beginning she had an agenda and knew exactly what she needed to accomplish.
“After about three months I looked at the men and I told them that I had a request of them,” Vickery recalls. In 1971 there were no safety measures in place for students getting to and from school. “There were no sidewalks, no stop signs, no stop lights, no crossing guards and no school zones. Our kids weren’t safe walking in the streets or crossing the streets to get to the schools,” she explained. “At one of our meetings I looked at the other board members and told them I was going to the Lewisville City Council meeting the next night to ask the city to fund some safety measures for our kids. I told them, ‘I want each one of you there to back me up.’ And you know what? They were there, and we got what I asked for.”
Before long children in LISD walked to school on sidewalks and were escorted across the streets leading to the school by crossing guards. Motorists were slowed to 20 miles per hour in the areas immediately surrounding the schools. These measures are taken for granted by students and parents today, but they didn’t exist in LISD until Vickery took LISD’s request to the City Council.
Several months later she worked to get the pedestrian bridge for students whose walk to school required them to cross the highway. Residents still use it today.
In 1976 Vickery left the LISD Board and was elected to the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE), where she served until 1982. She was the first Republican woman elected to the SBOE and the first Denton County Republican to win any statewide office in Texas, two distinctions in which she takes tremendous pride.
On the SBOE she was elected Co-Chairman of the Curriculum Committee. The role allowed her to travel the state listening to input regarding proposed changes to school curriculum for Texas students. A number of changes were made during her tenure. The change about which she was most passionate – bilingual education – did not occur during her time on SBOE, but her work laid the foundation for the bilingual programs enjoyed by many students in LISD and throughout the state of Texas today.
Vickery took seriously her role shaping education for children in LISD and around the state. Already armed with a Bachelor’s Degree in art from Southern Methodist University, she wanted a better understanding of education and the education available to our educators. She enrolled in North Texas State University, known today as the University of North Texas, where she completed 54 hours in the study of education. Her visible commitment prompted the Delta Kappa International Society for Key Women Educators to offer her honorary membership in their local Kappa Theta chapter in 1980 as well as state membership in 2006.
The most visible symbol of Vickery’s legacy to students in LISD opened its doors in 2003: LISD’s Marjory Vickery Elementary School. Mrs. Vickery continues to work on behalf of students, specifically those students at the school bearing her name, appearing at school functions and funding awards to inspire student success.
She also works closely with the LEF Legacy Society, working to increase funding for LISD students and teachers by assisting in donor cultivation for LEF scholarships and grants. Students, parents and teachers in LISD are in better standing today thanks to more than 40 years of work Marjory Vickery did on their behalf, through the LISD Board of Trustees, the Texas State Board of Education and the Lewisville ISD Education Foundation. Her legacy is written in the success of each child attending LISD schools today.