History of James H. Whiteside Elementary
Whiteside Elementary School is named for James H. Whiteside, who devoted much of his time to work with public education, first as a member of the Lubbock School Board and later as a member of the State Board of Education. He began this service in 1955 when he was elected to the Board of Trustees of Lubbock Independent School District.
James Whiteside was born in Ryan, Oklahoma, but moved to Lubbock in 1924 with his family. He was a graduate of Lubbock High School and Texas Tech University.
Mr. Whiteside served on the Lubbock School Board from 1955 through 1968. He served as president from 1964 to 1968. These years were significant in the growth of Lubbock Public Schools. Mr. Whiteside dedicated much of his time and effort to providing adequate facilities and an outstanding educational program for the Lubbock community.
At the insistence of Lubbock ISD employees and community members, Mr. Whiteside placed his name on the ballot for the vacancy on the State Board of Education from the 19th Congressional District and was elected in the spring of 1970. Public education was a major interest in his life, and he worked diligently to improve the quality of education in Lubbock and in Texas.
James H. Whiteside Elementary opened in August of 1983. The first principal was Denzil L. Minyard. Mr. Minyard served as principal from 1983 to 1991. One of the challenges that was faced that first year was overcrowding. The school was built to house 725 students. There were exactly 900 students the first day. The music, science, and art rooms were used as regular classrooms that year! When Preston Smith Elementary School opened in August, 1987, Whiteside’s enrollment dropped by 400 students. Whiteside was the largest elementary school in Lubbock ISD for four years! On the last day of school in May, 1987, the enrollment was 1,026 students.
Whiteside was originally an open concept school for the first few years. However, later a number of doors and walls were added to the school to accomplish a more closed concept style.
The second principal of Whiteside was Joe Williams. Mr. Williams served as principal from 1991 to 2007. Chris Brown was named the third principal of Whiteside, in June 2007 and he served as principal until 2013. The Lubbock Independent School board named Cicely Alexander as the fourth principal of Whiteside Elementary on March 26, 2014. Brandi Lay was named as the fifth principal of Whiteside in May of 2017.