For Black History Month, we focus on a living legend who saved a school so the Black community would be able to earn an education.
“CCISD reserves the right to make future decisions,” Dr. Gloria Scott read in the settlement agreement stored in the Solomon Coles High School museum.
“The story of Solomon Coles himself coming here from Pennsylvania, to start and open this school in a two-room broom shack. Because there was, Black kids had no school to go to in Corpus," said Dr. Scott.
In 2005, the superintendent of Corpus Christi Independent School District at the time made an attempt to close Solomon Coles school. It was then, Dr. Scott and other activists filed a federal lawsuit to prevent the closing which was settled with a court order to keep Coles open.
“And these kids can have a place to learn, to get high school diplomas and to be able to go onto college or if they don’t want to be able to work, but they are educated," said Dr. Scott.
Since its establishment in 2007, Solomon Coles High School has graduated more than 1,000 students.
“Honestly I am grateful because if it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t be here right now being able to have another chance," said Cieana Rodriguez, who is a junior.
Rodriguez said its amazing to see Dr. Scott walk the hallways and see students from all backgrounds get an education at the school she fought for.
“For Mrs. Scott, it’s like it’s a blessing for her to see from once an all Black school to see all of us mixed together," said Rodriguez.
Dr. Scott is at the high school all day, every day as a volunteer to live by the motto, K.E.Y.S, which Dr. Scott said stands for "Keep Every Youth in School."
She said as the students from diverse backgrounds walk the hallways of Solomon Coles High School, Black History Month is an important month to learn about the history, which was at one time not given equal attention.
“It gives people a way, and the younger generations especially, and the younger students really know and celebrate," said Dr. Scott.
To learn more about Dr. Gloria Scott’s achievements, our Katia Uriarte did a story on her as one of the Inspiring Women of the Coastal Bend.