In early 2001, Lee Posey, read about a new single-gender public school in New York City, The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem. Founded in 1996 by philanthropists Ann and Andrew Tisch, of the Young Women's Leadership Network, in partnership with the New York City Board of Education, the school had achieved remarkable success, with 100% of its graduating classes accepted to four-year colleges and universities. Lee and Sally Posey visited the school and returned to Dallas inspired by the school, Ann Tisch, and her vision. In early 2002, Lee and Sally Posey established the Young Women's Preparatory Network, formerly known as the Foundation for the Education of Young Women, and began the effort to establish a similar school in the Dallas Independent School District, with the intention of founding additional schools in other Texas cities. In August 2004, the first public girls' school, the Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, opened its doors with the support of the Young Women's Preparatory Network. Since then Young Women's Prep has partnered with six other districts to open public college preparatory all girls schools ---including the Margaret Talkington School of Young Women Leaders in Lubbock, Texas.
The Talkington School is proud to be a part of the Young Women's Preparatory Network, a nonprofit organization that partners with public school districts to operate the largest network of all-girls', public, college-preparatory schools in the nation. All YWPN schools feature a STEM-focused curriculum, and a majority of the students are economically disadvantaged. The core values are college readiness, leadership and wellness life skills.
In 2008, Lubbock ISD opened the doors to a college preparatory, single-gender school for girls. The school originally opened as the Young Women Leaders School, but after the first year the search for a new name began. Dr. Kitty Harris, longtime friend and associate of Margaret Talkington, approached Mrs. Talkington with the idea of allowing her name to become a part of the new Young Women’s Leadership School. Margaret Talkington was well-known as a gracious and influential community leader, whose courage, determination, and generosity spanned many years of anonymous service within the Lubbock community. She was an innovative businesswoman and a respected mentor.
Mrs. Talkington was, by all definitions, what the Young Women’s Leadership schools represented. However, the Talkington’s had always strived for anonymity with their charitable acts in the community, and convincing her to have a school named after her was a difficult task. Dr. Harris ultimately convinced her to agree, and on May 14, 2009, the Lubbock ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to re-name the school in honor of the Lubbock businesswoman, community leader, and philanthropist: Margaret Talkington. Known for her commitment to leadership, her support of women, and her quiet, behind-the-scenes financial support of many efforts to enhance the lives of children, Margaret Talkington has been, and continues to be, a role model for past, present, and future generations.
More information about YWPN can be found at http://youngwomensprep.org/.