Ollie Mae Byrd Elementary School is the official name of the Cy-Fair ISD 59th elementary campus in the district following board approval during the April 4 board meeting.

“I am so surprised and thankful for this honor,” Byrd said in a news release. “I always loved children and being where they were. Our family has a passion for education and we would always stress the importance of it to the younger kids growing up. Education is the most powerful tool you can use to make a difference.”

The inspiration

Byrd began her 30-year career in 1957 as an elementary teacher at CFISD's Carverdale School. When the campus closed in 1970, she transferred to Holbrook Elementary School, where she taught second-grade math until her retirement in 1987.

Superintendent Doug Killian said Byrd left a lasting legacy in the district and was known for her dedication to bettering her students' lives.

“Former students remember her as a teacher who inspired and challenged them to reach their full potential,” Killian said at the meeting. “One former student recalled her often repeating the words, ‘You are smart enough to become anything in life you so choose; the sky’s the limit.’”

What else?

The school is slated to open for the 2024-25 school year this August and was funded by the 2019 bond for an estimated $39.6 million. It will be located at 20002 West Road, Cypress, and will serve the Miramesa master-planned community in Cypress.

Huckabee Architects developed the plans for the school with a focus on student autonomy, a power commons and campus identity, as previously reported. In addition to classrooms, a library, computer labs, a gymnasium, a cafeteria and administrative offices, the campus will feature a concrete running track and open grass playing areas.

Amy Frank, former principal at Owens Elementary School, was named the inaugural principal for the new school on Jan. 26. According to the district’s website, Frank has 31 years of experience in education, all in CFISD.