<!--:es-->Dr. Wright Lassiter Jr. Praised for Vision and Leadership at Dallas ISD<!--:-->

Dr. Wright Lassiter Jr. Praised for Vision and Leadership at Dallas ISD

Speakers at the celebration for the newly named Dr. Wright L. Lassiter Jr. Early College at El Centro College had high praise for the school’s namesake at Friday’s event celebrating the renaming of Dallas ISD’s Middle College. Lassiter Early College Principal Eric Markinson who recommended the renaming of the school in Lassiter’s honor, opened the event, held in the El Centro College Performance Hall and attended by more than 300 students and guests.
In a program presided over by Early College senior Vicente Argueta, several students shared brief vignettes of Lassiter as a family man, pastor, educator and servant leader. Dallas ISD Superintendent of Schools Mike Miles recognized the honoree as a visionary who clearly saw the benefits of high school students attending classes on a college campus 25 years ago. The idea is now one whose time has clearly arrived, said Miles, whose Destination 2020 plan seeks to create a college-going culture at every district high school.

In 1988, in partnership with Dallas ISD, Lassiter advocated for the creation of the district’s first Early College High School where high school students would attend classes on the El Centro College campus and have the opportunity to earn college credits before high school graduation.

El Centro College President Dr. Paul McCarthy credited Lassiter with standing firm on the concept even in the face of faculty criticism. He said students’ performance on the campus was such that faculty members were soon won over and, today, enthusiastically support the dual credit program.
Dallas ISD Trustee Dr. Lew Blackburn called Lassiter a giant in higher education circles and thanked him for believing in the power of education to change lives.

Thanking all of the speakers for their kind remarks, Lassiter closed the event with a challenge to students to work diligently to find wisdom, a prize he described as a hidden treasure, available only to those who are willing to search for it and work for it.

Today, Dallas ISD has three early college programs: the Lassiter campus at El Centro College, Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy, which is located near the University of North Texas at Dallas Campus, and the Trinidad Garza Early College High School, located on the campus of Mountain View College.