Mary Alice Skaggs was born in Celina, Texas in 1908. She grew up in Dallas and graduated from Gunter Bible College High School. After earning a teaching degree from Austin College, Mrs. Skaggs returned to her alma mater and taught English and Latin. In 1930 Mrs. Skaggs became the first teacher in Plano to earn a Master’s degree. She was hired as an English teacher at Plano High School and earned an extra $25 per month because of her unique, advanced degree.Mrs. Skaggs quit teaching for several years. In 1942 she returned to Plano High School and quickly became a driving force in the school. She became the editor and sponsor of the school year book, The Planonian. At the time, the school had only ever released three yearbooks, and those sporadically (1914, 1923,and 1926). With Mrs. Skaggs’ leadership, the Planonian was released yearly from 1943 on, missing only in 1944 when World War II caused a paper shortage.
Mrs. Skaggs was also the long-time sponsor of the Junior Thursday Study Club, a literary club for girls. Each year 16-20 girls were selected as members and assigned topics of study; their goal was “to learn something new every day.” During World War II the club served as Red Cross hospital aides. Mrs. Skaggs sponsored the club for fifty years. The club continued until 2002.In 1958, she was awarded the Teacher of the Year. Mary Alice Skaggs retired in 1970. She was honored in 1996 with an elementary school named in her honor, and in 2000 she was recognized as one of Plano ISD's "100 Heroes". Mrs. Skaggs lived to be over 100 years old. She passed in 2009. To this day, Skaggs Elementary consistently works to promote the values of excellence Mrs. Skaggs embodied during her life and her career.