Best Use of a Bond Issue (2004)
Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School
The former Stephen J. Hay School on Herschel Avenue stands proud again, refurbished and alive with uniformed seventh- and eighth-grade girls and their teachers. This first single-sex school in DISD was made possible by the willingness of the district to try something new, the bond issue voted by the citizenry in 2002 and the work and generosity of philanthropists Lee and Sally Posey. The Poseys led the efforts to create the school and established a foundation to support it, bringing in as executive director Liza Lee, former Hockaday headmistress and a national leader in all-girls education. Many of the finest private schools have always been single sex, and the absence of distractions of a coed school is believed to be particularly beneficial for girls. Each year, Rangel will add another grade until it is a combination middle school and high school. That's when the foundation's real benefits will kick in. The Poseys, who have privately sent more than 90 economically disadvantaged girls to college, have pledged that every Rangel graduate who is accepted to college "will have the financial support she needs."