Norris Elementary

School Celebrates Namesake Armetha Norris

Sep 22, 2015

When Frisco’s Armetha Norris first became a nurse, children were still dying from polio, and vaccines for measles, mumps and chicken pox were still decades away. Now, more than 60 years later, the woman who started Frisco ISD’s school nursing and health program has a brand new school dedicated in her honor.

The public and Frisco ISD officials dedicated the new Armetha Norris Elementary and honored its namesake this past Sunday, September 20. The school, located at 10101 Shepton Lane, is one of four new campuses that opened this fall in one of the fastest growing school districts in America.

The District also officially dedicated Trent Middle School, honoring Dr. Daryl Trent, longtime band director of Frisco High and former Frisco ISD Director of Fine Arts.

“These two individuals made significant contributions to creating the Frisco ISD of today,” said Dr. Jeremy Lyon, Superintendent of Schools. “Educators, parents and the community owe them both a big thanks for their foresight and dedication.”

Both Norris and Trent were on hand Sunday as speakers took the podium to recognize their service to the Frisco ISD community.

Norris was a professional nurse and had spent years as an active PTA volunteer mom when she began the FISD nurse volunteer program.

The program she developed established an immunization program, a record-keeping system, a school health policy manual, vision and hearing testing for students, health rooms in each school, skin and head lice testing and education, a referral program for children with health problems, blood pressure testing for employees, a migrant children’s health program, support of health and science teachers and a nurse volunteer program.

“She was insistent about things being done the right way,” said former FISD Librarian Catherine Fowler, who worked with Norris. “Everyone listened to what Armetha said and minded Armetha. She was frequently quoted.”

Today when FISD students have their vision and hearing checked, a nurse takes their temperature or distributes prescription medication, they may thank Norris for her vision, which became the foundation for the District’s current school health and nursing program.

“It is just amazing to Mom that she has been honored,” said Cheryl Staats, Norris’s daughter. “To her, it was about loving the students and wanting the best health for them in their school years. She says that she was just doing the best for the kids.”

“The volunteer program was also a great way for the community to be involved at that time,” Staats continued. “One of the volunteers told me the other day that they were learning things completely new to them and learned so much from Mom.”

Dedication ceremonies for two more new campuses, Charles B. Pearson Middle School and Rick Reedy High School, are scheduled for Sunday, September 27 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.