At a Dec. 13 school board meeting, trustees unanimously approved the name of Middle School No. 18 to be Richard Wilkinson Middle School and the new intermediate school to be Shana Wortham Intermediate School.
Both campuses are scheduled to open in the fall of 2023.
Wilkinson Middle School is named after Richard Wilkinson, who started his two-decade tenure with the district in 1997. Wilkinson stepped into his role as executive director of business operations when FISD had five campuses and just over 3,700 students. When he retired in 2017, the district had 68 campuses and more than 58,400 students.
Deputy Superintendent Todd Fouche presented Wilkinson's career highlights to the board at the meeting, which included facilitating many of the partnerships the district has today with Comerica Center, Toyota Stadium and Dr. Pepper Ballpark, which is now Riders Field.
Wilkinson ended his tenure with a new title, deputy superintendent of business services. At that time, five bond referendums had been authorized by voters. Each bond had approval ratings of more than 77%, with the highest being 96%.
Board Vice President John Classe said when he first joined the board more than six years ago, Wilkinson helped him understand Texas public school finance better.
“The man had a dry erase board that went from floor to ceiling, from left corner to right corner, and it was just filled with stuff and he worked his way through it,” Classe said at the meeting. “We called it 'The Beautiful Mind’ board.”
Construction on Wilkinson Middle School is set to begin in 2022 in northwest Frisco across the street from Panther Creek High School.
FISD’s first intermediate school is named after Shana Wortham, the former executive director of communications and community relations. Wortham worked in the district’s communications department for 19 years.
Wortham guided the district during a time of “monumental growth,” Fouche said.
Her accomplishments include starting the district’s website and internal print shop.
Wortham played a “pivotal role” in developing the Frisco Education Foundation, which has awarded more than $8.7 million in scholarships since 1999, according to the district website. The foundation has also given more than $1 million in grants to educators.
In addition to her work in the district, Wortham was in the third class of Leadership Frisco, a member of Rotary and a member of the Texas School Public Relations Association.
Wortham Intermediate School will be constructed between Alma Road and Dr. Kenneth Cooper Park in McKinney’s Craig Ranch community. It will serve students in fifth and sixth grades.
Attendance zones will not be established until next fall, but the school is expected to relieve Comstock, Elliott, Ogle and Isbell elementary schools as well as Scoggins, Lawler and Vandeventer middle schools, according to the district site.