Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Renaissance event is good way to celebrate landmark

Education in Texas has received a lot of negative press over the past few years. So when something positive comes to light, we feel the need to celebrate as much as possible. One Victoria school had a wonderful celebration Nov. 21.

Dudley Elementary G.T. Magnet School celebrated its 50th anniversary with a Renaissance festival-themed party.

The school opened in 1963 and was named after Dr. C.A. Dudley, a black physician, civic leader and civil rights worker. According to the Texas State Historical Association website, he moved to Victoria in 1924 to assume the medical practice of a cousin. He became an advocate for public education for African-American students in Victoria and helped furnish equipment for the black F. W. Gross High School. In 1940, he also organized an athletic council of mostly black citizens that provided a fence, shrubs, grass and cement walkways for the school. He also worked closely with NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, a future U.S. Supreme Court associate justice, during the fight for black voting rights.

He died Jan. 24, 1975.

Dudley Elementary is named for a great man who had a lasting effect on education in Victoria, and we are glad to see the school has reached this milestone.

Dudley and the magnet school program have a history of success in Victoria since it began in 1986, and we are proud to see that legacy is continuing. While most of the VISD magnet schools have now become regular campuses, Dudley has remained in the program.

The Renaissance festival was a fun way for the school to celebrate this important anniversary while offering educational activities. Students took part in jousting, face painting, learned about symmetry, wrote poetry with quills and more. Even Superintendent Robert Jaklich got in on the fun and spent some time in the stocks.

We applaud Dudley and VISD for the years of effort providing a quality education for generations of Victoria's children. Thank you for your continued commitment to excellence in education. We look forward to many more years of learning.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.