Abilene ISD hosted Name Dedication Ceremonies for its three newly named elementary schools today. One of these campuses is now named Alcorta Elementary School. Some of you may recognize that name, having taken classes with a Dr. Alcorta.
Dr. Jose Alcorta Sr., also known as Dr. Joe Alcorta, taught Spanish at Hardin-Simmons University for 45 years. Prior to his tenure at HSU, Dr. Alcorta taught at Brownwood Jr. High School and Abilene High School.
From classrooms to community service, Dr. Alcorta was always dedicated to teaching his students and living by example, which is why it makes sense AISD selected to name a school for him.
Dr. Alcorta graduated from HSU in 1964, and then went on to HPU and Texas Tech for graduate work. His HSU senior photo from The Bronco is below.
In an editorial piece from the Abilene Reporter-News Dr. Alcorta shared, “From an early age, I was taught to work. I worked in fields, hoeing cotton, pulling cotton, picking potatoes and tomatoes, and planting onions. During high school, I worked in a clothing store and a printing/newspaper shop. … From the cotton fields to a college professor is my story.”
You can read the full piece below.
While a professor at HSU, Dr. Alcorta became the first non-white member and first Hispanic-member of Abilene’s City Council. He was elected to two terms from 1972-1978.
An article from the April 1975 Brand interviewed Alcorta on this role:
AISD’s decision to name the elementary campus is a testament to Dr. Alcorta’s story and an inspiration to the little ones who walk the hallways. It was said best in an Abilene Reporter-News story, “Joe is an American success story.” What an impactful name to grace the building of an elementary school where young, impressionable minds seek role models.
Check out AISD’s photos of the Naming Dedication:
Did any of you have Dr. Alcorta as a professor? Or did you attend classes with him in the 1960s? Tell us your stories!