A chapter in the history of the Katy Independent School District closed on June 24, 1993, when Katy Junior High Principal Roosevelt Alexander retired. The chapter spans a 35-year period that began in 1958 when Roosevelt, who was working on his master's degree at Prairie View A&M University, was hired by Katy ISD. At that time, Katy was a small farming community with four schools: Katy High, Katy Junior High, Katy Elementary and Odessa Kilpatrick.
Roosevelt was assigned to teach the 5th and 6th grade and coach the 7th and 8th grades at Kilpatrick. When Katy ISD integrated in 1970, he became a math and science teacher at Katy Junior High. Two years later, he was promoted to assistant principal and was named principal of the school in 1981. He remained at Katy Junior High until he retired in 1993.
Through the years, he earned the respect of the students, their parents and his staff. But Roosevelt never sought attention. "I always tried to do what was best for the kids," he said. "I told my teachers they must be fair, firm and consistent. Children need to know the rules and the consequences."
Although the road to success was not easy for Roosevelt, he attributes his determination to succeed in life to his mother, Lille Alexander. Lillie, a widow with seven children, had a dream that all of her children would have a college education. It seemed an impossible dream because Lillie was poor, and the door of opportunity was not fully open to African Americans in Texas at that time. Lille saw her dream realized when all but one of her children attended college, and five graduated.
On October 27, 1997, the Board of Trustees paid Roosevelt the highest honor they could bestow on an employee. It named its 17th elementary school, Roosevelt Alexander Elementary. Accepting the tribute, Roosevelt said he was shocked and didn't deserve the honor. "I enjoyed every minute of my career, because of the students that I had, and the parents who supported me. However, I could not have accomplished anything without the support of my wife and three daughters."
Roosevelt Alexander Elementary opened on August 11, 1998.