The 2023 Naming Committee, made up of members of the community, was appointed by the school board in July to consider names for several new schools and facilities in Hays CISD.

The first reading of the recommended names was presented to the HCISD board of trustees during a workshop meeting Nov. 13. According to the district, more than 200 names were submitted by residents to be considered from Sept. 22 to Oct. 10.

Zooming in

Scheduled to open in August 2024, the committee recommends Elementary No. 16 to be named Jim Cullen Elementary School. Cullen is a retired HCISD teacher, past president of the HCISD Texas State Teachers Association chapter and a longtime member of the Hays Education Foundation. He is also a former regional teacher of the year, the district photographer for more than a decade following his retirement, and the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from HCISD, according to the district.

Elementary No. 17 is slated to open in August 2025 and with board approval would be named Lamont Ramage Elementary School. Ramage was the former mayor of the city of Hays, and served as justice of the peace, a former school board member and board president. He was also an active volunteer in the district, according to HCISD.

The Child Nutrition Building, which is currently open, would be renamed to The Helen Alcala Child Nutrition Center. According to HCISD, Alcala was a child nutrition employee at the historic Buda School campus. After retiring from the district, she opened her own restaurant on Buda’s Main Street called Helen’s Casa Alde. Her family still owns and operates the business.

“It’s always rewarding to name school district facilities after people who spent their lives making local contributions to the school district,” HCISD Chief Communication Officer Tim Savoy said. “These buildings will last into the next century. It’s a fitting tribute to honor the legacies and the impact that these incredible people had on untold numbers of students, colleagues and neighbors through the years.”

Items worth mentioning

The committee also recommend that the district keep the name of the central office building that is anticipated to open in spring 2024 the same, as the Hays CISD Academic Support Center.

Next, the board of trustees will cast their final votes toward making the names official in December.