Robert Edward King

  • When 33-year-old Robert E King inquired about job openings in Katy ISD in 1955, he was interested in in teaching at the junior high level and becoming an elementary school principal. Two weeks later, Robert was making plans to move his wife and small sons to Katy. Superintendent James E. Taylor did not know at that time that the teacher he had just hired would help mold Katy ISD into one of the finest school districts in the state.

    Robert Edward King was born on April 6, 1922 and graduated from Bogota High School in 1940. He enrolled at Paris Junior College, but in 1942, the country was involved in World War II, and Robert joined the military. While in the service, he met his wife Novell, and the couple married in 1945. When Robert returned home, he continued his education at East Texas State Teacher's College, received a bachelor's degree in 1948, and began teaching in the Crandall and Depot school districts. In 1950, he was hired by the Sonora school district as a th grade teacher. In 1951, he received a master of education degree from his alma mater, and took on the added responsibility of being principal of Central Elementary in Sonora. But with a growing family, he was looking for professional advancement and a higher salary.

     Mr. King taught math at Katy Junior High until 1965 when he was promoted to principal of Katy Elementary. His steadfast hands guided the school through the turbulent 1960's and helped ease the students and staff through integration. In 1978, Robert King was asked to open the new Hutsell Elementary. In 1980, Melvin Nash was named assistant principal. He said that Mr. King fit the stereotype of a principal but also had the attributes that are cultivated in principals today. Although he dressed in a three-piece suit, used perfect English, and was extremely detail-minded, he also took the time to talk to people, and they felt comfortable approaching him. He was a disciplinarian but had the ability to motivate through positive reinforcement; Children flocked to him when he was in the cafeteria or on bus duty. They always had something for him to autograph.

    King Elementary librarian Dawn Jamail said that Mr. King encouraged her to return to school and get her teaching certification. Then, he offered her a kindergarten teaching position. Mr. King respected and supported his teachers, but his students came first. He knew them by name; and they called him "The King."

    Robert King retired in 1982 and moved back to Bogota to take care of his aging mother.