TYLER, Texas — Former former principal and trustee Therelee Washington has passed away. Washington’s career spanned over 23 years as an educator and 19 years on the Tyler ISD Board of Trustees, according to the district.
“Our community has lost a leader and friend in Therelee Washington,” Tyler ISD Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford said. “His heart for student success as an educator, board member, and community member impacted the lives of many, and he will be greatly missed.”
Washington joined Tyler ISD in 1971 as a math teacher at Douglas Elementary School.
Six years later he would become the principal at Bonner Elementary School for six years and at W. A. Peete Elementary for 11 years.
Washington retired in 1994 and served on the board of trustees until 2013.
“I had the pleasure of working with Therelee for many years as a school board member,” Tyler ISD Trustee Andy Bergfeld said. “He was a true servant to his community, but more than that, he was a genuine friend. His legacy will carry on in the many students and adults he had an influence on, including me. Our prayers are with Jean and the entire Washington family.”
During his tenure as a Trustee, the Tyler ISD Board was named the 2005 Region VII Board of the Year for its many accomplishments that included passing a $96 million bond to improve and build new elementary campuses, increasing the District’s emphasis on fiscal responsibility, and implementing performance indicators to gauge progress in testing scores, attendance, and completion rates among other areas.
“My heart is saddened today,” former Tyler ISD Trustee Rev. Orenthia Mason said. “It was my joy to sit beside Therelee at the Board of Trustees dais, and I am so happy he was able to see a dream of his come true in the Tyler ISD Career and Technology Center. Our Board of Trustees was a wonderful team, and Therelee kept us all laughing during challenging times and focused on academic excellence. His tenure speaks well for itself. Well done, my friend.”