District to consider renaming campus after Clarence Bailey


The Longview ISD Board of Trustees is considering a proposal to rename South Ward Elementary in honor of the district's first African-American school board member Mr. Clarence W. Bailey.

District to consider renaming campus after Clarence Bailey

Tue Apr 13, 2021


The Longview ISD Board of Trustees will consider a proposal to rename South Ward Elementary in honor of the district's first African-American school board member, during a special-called meeting Wednesday, May 26.

Clarence-BaileyMr. Clarence W. Bailey was elected in 1974, just four years after the district was integrated. If approved by the board, South Ward Elementary will become Clarence W. Bailey Elementary, or "The Bailey School," with a dedication set for later this summer.

Dr. James Wilcox, LISD Superintendent of Schools, said the board asked him to find a way to honor Mr. Bailey after his passing on Feb. 14th. After forming a committee, Dr. Wilcox said it was determined that renaming the South Ward campus in Mr. Bailey's honor would be the most appropriate action.

"Mr. Bailey left a legacy of service and dedication to students, staff, and families of this district," he said. "Our help is that — with this dedication — Longview ISD can show some small gesture of appreciation for Mr. Bailey, and his life of service to our community."

One of the oldest campuses established by the school district, South Ward Elementary opened in 1934, with additions built in 1947 and 1954. The campus is located on Mobberly Avenue near Plilar Street, in the heart of historic south Longview.


Clarence W. Bailey was born September 25, 1933 to Arthur Jerome Bailey Sr. and Lorraine Darden Bailey of Longview. A native of Longview, Clarence graduated from Mary C. Womack High School in 1950. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and biology from Wiley College in Marshall, later receiving a Master’s degree in psychology and counseling from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Beginning a career in insurance, Clarence established Bailey’s Insurance Agency in 1967. His career allowed him to qualify several years for the Million-Dollar Round Table, National Quality Award, Texas Leaders Round Table and National Sales Achievement Award. He was also given lifetime status for National Western Life’s President’s Council Award which sent his wife and daughter to worldwide trips in countries and places that included Hawaii, Barbados West Indies, Austria, Switzerland, Morocco, Russia, England and many resorts across the country.

Heavily involved in civic affairs as well as the business world, Clarence worked as a teacher-coach for Longview Independent School District for seven years; playground director for the City of Des Moines, Academic & Tactical Instructor for the U. S. Air Force, and eventually served four terms for the Longview Independent School Board of Trustees, which included tenure as board president. Clarence also served on various committees for the Longview Chamber of Commerce, Longview High School, East Texas Area Boy Scouts of America, the Longview NAACP, Wiley College, and numerous other local boards, organizations, and associations.

Also an ordained minister, Rev. Bailey was an Associate Pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Longview. He enjoyed reading the Bible and had a true passion for helping others, especially financially. He was married to his devoted wife, the late Mavis L. Bailey, for 64 years, and was the proud father of Sherry Bailey Smith (husband Pastor Johnny Smith), two granddaughters Tasha Smith Griffin (husband Aaron Griffin and son Taron), and Sherina Smith Boyd (husband Nicholas Boyd and two children Faith and Noah).