Stacy Danielson selected as namesake for new Leander ISD middle school; upcoming elementary to be called Larkspur

Leander ISD's ninth middle school is set to be located near Glenn High School. This is a rendering of proposed design for the school.

Leander ISD's ninth middle school is set to be located near Glenn High School. This is a rendering of proposed design for the school.

Leander ISD’s upcoming ninth middle school will be named in honor of Stacy Danielson, who spent her entire teaching career at Cedar Park High School and was the school’s dance director, the board of trustees decided Dec. 13.

“She could see who [students] would become and not just who we were just then, and because of that I know I’m the dance director I am today,” said Madison D’Ortona, the dance director at Manor High School and a former student of Danielson. “This is the testament that she was bigger than a dance studio.”

Danielson died of cancer this summer. Her father, Kirk Lawrence, told the district’s board that when Danielson’s tumor was first discovered, she was concerned about bringing her drill team officers to officer camp the following day.

“That’s just the way Stacy was ... she always put her students first,” Lawrence said. “Now we can’t bring Stacy back, but by honoring Stacy by placing her name on a school, I think that would allow Stacy to continue putting her students first.”

The school's official name will be decided once the district speaks with Danielson's family about how her name should be presented, such as whether to include a middle name.

Prior to voting 6-0 for the middle school’s name, the LISD board also decided to name Elementary School No. 27 as Larkspur, after the subdivision where the school will be located. Not all students who attend the school will be residents of the Larkspur subdivision.

The decision to go with Larkspur came after failed motions for other names—Nancy Tarvin and Bill Pickett.

Tarvin was the executive director of elementary curriculum for LISD before retiring in 2016. She worked for Leander ISD for 25 years before retiring in 2016. Tarvin died in 2017.

“Nancy had a lot to do with the Leander Way, establishing the way we do things, the way we redesigned the elementary schools, she had a big hand in that,” trustee Grace Barber-Jordan said. “Her work touched all of the children in LISD.”

Pickett was born in the Miller community in western Williamson County, which was settled largely by people who were former slaves, including Pickett’s parents, according to Williamson County Historical Commission records and Frank Stiles, a fourth-generation Leander resident and veterinarian. Pickett was an cowboy who performed across the country and in England, Stiles said.

Larkspur passed 4-1 with trustee Jim MacKay voting against and Barber-Jordan abstaining. Trustee Pam Waggoner was not present at the meeting.

MacKay said after he received community feedback, he gave his word to his constituents that he would vote for the name to honor Tarvin or Carol North, who taught at LISD elementary schools for 22 years and died in 2016.

The board directed staff to look at options for the naming process to possibly revise it in the future.

“I think that we need to re-examine our process, and I think having some type of … community committee that gets together and looks through the submissions and then comes back to the board with a suggestion,” trustee Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia said.

Some board members also expressed interest in considering naming a performing arts center, school libraries or other facilities after significant community members.

Over 5,000 people signed a petition on advocating for a future school to be named after Myles Hutcheson as of Dec. 13. Hutcheson was a Vista Ridge High School student who died earlier this month. The results of the petition were presented by a community member during the meeting, but trustees did not discuss the name.

Larkspur Elementary School will open for the 2019-20 school year. The middle school named after Danielson will be across from Glenn High School and is planned to open in 2020.


I-35 at US 183 flyovers
Watch for new traffic patterns on I-35 in North Austin as TxDOT opens new flyovers, closes existing ramp

Drivers trying to connect to northbound US 183 from northbound I-35 will have to take a detour beginning April 26.

Leander ISD admin building
Authors send letter against their book's removal to Leander ISD

Margaret Atwood, Miles Hyman, Colleen AF Venable and Derf Backderf are among the 20 authors, illustrators and contributors who signed the letter.

As part of President Joe Biden’s plan to reopen schools safely nationwide, the department’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option is being expanded beyond the summertime. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
USDA extends free school meals provision through 2021-22 school year

Schools nationwide will be able to serve nutritious meals to all students free of charge regardless of eligibility through June 30, 2022, officials announced.

Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard speaks to reporters March 13 at the Delco Actiity Center in Northeast Austin. Residents can walk up to the Delco Center on April 22 and 23 and receive vaccines without an appointment. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Public Health will accept walk-up vaccinations at the Delco Activity Center starting April 22

APH will also leave its registration portal open throughout most of the week.

Williamson County will close its mass-vaccination sites. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County commissioners to close mass-vaccination sites

The county judge expects to have everyone who wants to be vaccinated to receive the shot by May 21.

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County.(Community Impact staff)
Nearly half of Williamson County is vaccinated, but positivity rate climbs again

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County.

Blue Corn Harvest Leander is located at 11840 Hero Way W., Bldg. A, Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Blue Corn Harvest opens in Leander; park, pizzeria launches social club and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Blue Corn Harvest Leander is located at 11840 Hero Way W., Bldg. A, Leander.
Blue Corn Harvest's Leander location now open

Blue Corn Harvest opened its third location April 19.

Photo of people receiving vaccines in a gym
Austin Public Health lengthens windows for vaccine appointment signups

Residents age 18 and up can now sign up for appointments with APH any time from Saturday to Tuesday morning.

Seattle's Piroshky Piroshky Bakery bringing pastries to Cedar Park April 21

The bakery will bring its famous Russian pastries to Cedar Park for a one-day event.