Austin ISD renames Fulmore Middle School after retired teacher Sarah Beth Lively


Austin ISD board of trustees renamed Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School on Dec. 17 to Lively Middle School after educator Sarah Beth Lively, who taught at Fulmore for 25 years and volunteered for years after retirement. The name change will take effect beginning in the 2019-20 school year.

The school is located at 201 E. Mary St., Austin.

About a dozen individuals at the Dec. 17 Austin ISD board of trustees meeting, including Lively’s children, colleagues and former students, spoke in support of the board’s action during public comment. Lively was also in attendance.

“Mrs. Lively’s spirit is woven through 47 years at Fillmore,” said Francis Goldbarth, one of Lively’s former colleagues who spoke of her contributions to the school community over time. “I believe that old Judge Fillmore will be smiling when the school he founded 130 years ago is renamed in honor of Mrs. Sarah Lively.”

Lynne Lively, her daughter, said her mother is the teacher “you always wish you had” and loved teaching social studies and journalism.

“A lot of her students are here tonight, but I’m going to speak as her son,” Lance Lively said. “I am the man that I am today—54 years old, a proud son—and I can tell you there is no better mother than Sarah Lively. She taught me about I who I needed to be, how I needed to be.”

Fulmore Middle was one of five AISD schools named after Confederate leaders that have been undergoing a name-change process since February. The John T. Allan Facility, located at 4900 Gonzales St., Austin, became the first of the AISD campuses to be renamed Nov. 26. It was renamed after Anita Ferrales Coy.

The motion was approved 6-1-1, with trustee Jayme Mathias abstaining.

Trustee Ann Teich, who voted against the motion due to her displeasure with the general name-change process, said her vote was not meant to be a sign of disrespect to Lively.

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Nicholas Cicale
Nick was born in Long Island, New York and grew up in South Florida. He graduated from Florida State University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in writing and a minor in music. Nick was a journalist for three years at the St. James Plaindealer in Minnesota before moving to Austin to join Community Impact Newspaper in 2016.
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