Sally B. Elliott Elementary
A historical look
Sally B Elliott Elementary opened in the fall of 1969. It had 12 enclosed classrooms including a music room and five temporary buildings for the 5th and 6th graders. The rooms all opened off the cafeteria. The school opened with 426 students in 1st -6th grades and 22 faculty members. In 1971 a new 16 classroom, open space addition designed for team teaching was added to the building. In 1972 6th grade was moved to the new Lamar Middle School. In 1988 another major wing was added to building increasing classroom space. In 2013 the building was renovated and updated with new carpeting and minor remodeling. The school’s first principal was Earl Peeler. He was followed by Wayne Wilson, Barbara Kemp, Myrna Lancaster, Millynn Teal, Dr. Patty Notgrass, and Dr. Jill Tokomoto. The current principal Sheila Peragine.
Sally B. Elliott claimed Texas as her home state. She grew up in the home of Judge and Mrs. J. M Pearson. In June of 1925, she married Sam Houston Elliott. They settled on his farm which was south of where Elliott Elementary School is now located. Mr. Elliott was born in Irving. His family was one of the pioneer families in the area. They homesteaded their farm before 1881.
Sally and Houston had one daughter—Mary Belle. She married Clark Findley. Mr. Findley donated the land for the school site after he bought the Elliott family farm.
Sally Belle Pearson Elliott was born February 20, 1904, in Oklahoma. She grew up in McKinney, Texas and graduated from what is now the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas with a bachelor degree. She later earned a masters degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.Mrs. Elliott began teaching in 1923 at the old Irving School which had no electricity or indoor plumbing. Later she taught at Shady Grove School No. 2 and also served as principal. As principal, she and another teacher divided the chores of carrying water and bringing in wood to build fires to provide heat for the school. In 1954 she transferred to the new Lively Elementary School to teach. One of the Lively principals, Mr. Layfield said, “I can think of no higher compliment to pay a teacher than that she feels she owes something to her students.” She remained at Lively until her retirement in 1965. She was very proud of having a school named after her. She said that when she’d drive by the school the feeling she got was like walking on air. She worked in education for 26 years over a 34 year period. After retirement, she traveled around the United States, Europe, and the Orient. She also had time to pursue her interests in growing African violets and tomatoes. She died on May 19, 1998, and is buried in the Pecan Grove Cemetery in McKinney, TX.
Research by Lee Mosty • Irving Public Library Archives • Find-a-Grave.com, #30708493. • Ancestry.com • Irving Daily News • This web page was created by the Celebrating Irving Committee of the Irving Heritage Society in partnership with the Irving Independent School District. Pictures used with permission of Irving Public Library Archives.