February 2023

TEXARKANA MAGAZINE A s February celebrates Black History Month, it is important to recognize and reflect upon individuals who have given back to their community and share their passion for Texarkana with others. June Williams Davis, a former Texarkana citizen and recent distinguished Texas High alum, boasts an impressive amount of accomplishments. After graduating from a newly integrated Texas High School, Davis continued the growth and development of her career, bettering the lives and environments of students around her. Growing up in Texarkana, Davis led a simple life in elementary school and through most of high school. She grew up in the community of Sunset, where she attended Sunset Elementary School and Dunbar High School from grades seven to eleven. In 1968, Davis was a senior and Texarkana ISD began the integration process by closing Dunbar High School and transferring all students to Texas High School. For students like her, the newfound integration was a time of both excitement and fear. “My emotions surrounding the integration were between apprehensive, yet excited and cautiously optimistic.” Sadly, the joining of Dunbar High School and Texas High School did not come without backlash. “[Dealing with backlash,] I had to take it one day at a time,” Davis said. “Each day was a new day and an opportunity to be better.” In addition to her skin color, Davis was marked with a negative connotation based on the fact that she was the daughter of a single mother. “A difficulty growing up for me was that I was the child of a single parent, and some viewed that as a handicap, which could be true in some situations; [however] that was not the case with my mother,” Davis said. “She instilled a great work ethic and always told me if I work hard, I could be anything I wanted to be in life.” In 1969, Davis decided to attend East Texas State University and experience life outside her hometown. She knew she wanted to be a teacher, and pursued this dream. After her graduation, she found jobs teaching all over east Texas and multiple opportunities to aid in the betterment of

June Davis Williams stands in the entry-way of her namesake in Crowley Independent School District, the June W. Davis Elementary School. The school was named after Williams in 2019 for her service to education and the Crowley ISD Board of Trustees.



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