Hightower Elementary School was originally named in honor of John Freeman Hightower, an outstanding PISD educator. The school received its first students on August 3rd, 1998 and the dedication ceremony for the school was held on February 8, 1999.
On December 7, 2010, PISD school board officially renamed the school John and Myrtle Hightower Elementary School.
Mr. John F. Hightower, 1913 - 2005
Mr. Hightower attended public schools in Oklahoma, graduating from Morton High School in Taft, Oklahoma. Before entering high school, all eighth grade students had to take a required state exam. Mr. Hightower was recognized for having the highest score in Muskogee County.
Mr. Hightower attended college in Austin, Texas, at Huston-Tillotson College. He graduated Cum Laude with degrees in biology and mathematics. Later, he earned his master’s degree in administration from Texas Southern University. He had completed further study toward a doctorate at the University of North Texas and the University of California in Sacramento.
John Hightower's career in education began in Anton, Texas, where he served as a biology teacher. He later moved to Plano where he began teaching science at Douglass High School. Throughout his career he touched the lives of students in many capacities including serving as a counselor in the Special Services Department, Director of Special Services, and Coordinator of Ethnic Relations, prior to his retirement.
Mr. Hightower was involved in numerous community and civic affairs in the city of Plano. He reached out and touched the lives of many people through his genuine efforts and commitment.
Dr. Myrtle Hightower
Dr. Hightower began her career and her history of community service in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She held many positions in education in Oklahoma including Dean of Women at her alma mater, Langston University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English. Dr. Hightower also earned a Master of Teaching degree from Northeastern State University and a PhD from the University of Cincinnati.
Dr. Hightower worked in PISD for many years as a teacher and counselor. She has served on many committees and boards throughout Plano and has been honored with numerous awards. To name a few, she was selected as one of Plano ISD's 100 Heros, she is a Collin College Living Legacy and a recipient of the Texas Hero for Children Award. Along with her late husband John, Dr. Hightower has long been a resounding voice within this community.
(Based on Dr. Doug Otto's comments about Myrtle Hightower given at the MLK Celebration on January 17, 2011)