Name: Bernice Russell Fiest Elementary School
Established in 1989
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Fiest Elementary School was dedicated in November, 1989 in honor of Bernice Russell Fiest, who devoted 37 years of service as an educator to the young people of Texas as an educator. Mrs. Fiest was born in Waco, Texas, and received her public school education in the Tyler Independent School District. She attended college at Texas College in Tyler, Texas, and Prairie View A & M University, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in education and a Master of Arts Degree in education. She was also certified by the State of Texas in seven areas of education. She completed post-graduate work at Texas Tech University.
Bernice Fiest began her career in Crosbyton Independent School District, where she worked as a teacher, coach, and principal. She relocated to Houston after 16 years in Crosbyton, coming to the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. in 1964. Before retiring in 1985, she served the district and its students as a librarian, English and Social Studies teacher, faculty advisor, yearbook advisor, building representative, and officer of the local TSTA. Mrs. Fiest's life centered around her faith, her family, and her desire to be a positive influence in the community. She was a great role model and mentor for the students living in her community, and as such, she encouraged them to stay in school and become productive citizens. She gave them the reinforcement many of them needed as they left their community for school and jobs elsewhere. After her retirement, Bernice Fiest stayed involved in church activities, literacy tutoring and many other inspiring activities. She served as a mentor, tutor, and helped fund the Carverdale Community Reading program. Bernice was instrumental in documenting the history of Caverdale high school for the community. She was also an active member of the Houston Harris County Retired Teachers’ Association, Texas Retired Teachers’ Library Association, Literacy Advance of Houston, TSTA-R, NEA-R, and Queen of Sheba Grand Chapter O.E.S. of Texas.