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Izetta Sparks was born on May 5, 1902, the third of four children of John and Sally Sparks whose home was on a farm that grandfather Sparks had secured in 1859 as Free Exempt School Land of Peter's Colony. When she was six years old and ready for school, the family moved to Garza (which is now Lake Dallas), where her father ran a cotton gin. Her father built a new gin in Frisco and moved the family there in 1913. Her dad sold the gin in 1918, but following the war the business was returned to him and he kept it until he retired in 1938 and sold it to the Farmers' Coop. In 1918 he bought a home in Frisco from Fount Shrader, who had built it in 1907. The home stayed in the family until Izetta moved from it in 1982.
Izetta graduated from FHS (as did her three brothers) in 1920 and then went to North Texas Normal College to earn a permanent teaching certificate. As there were no vacancies for teachers in the home area, her Uncle Tom Greer got her a position in the Fluvanna School near his home in Scurry County. Her salary for the first two years of teaching was $90 a month! She came back to North Texas to finish her degree, which was needed to make more money. Izetta earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from North Texas State University and completed many hours of post-graduate work. She taught for a total of 45 years; in addition to Fluvanna, she taught at Aubrey High School, Graham High School and Denton High. After five years at Denton High, she was urged to apply for a position in the Laboratory School of North Texas State College, which was a teacher training facility and part of the Denton Public School System.
She retired in 1967 and moved back home to Frisco. In 1974, Izetta had sold the family farm in what became The Colony, and used the money to set up a trust fund through Hardin-Simmons University to provide for youth scholarships. She became fond of the university and staff and served on the board of development and belonged to the President's Club. In 1980, she received the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters as one of two honorary degrees onferred that year (Texas Attorney General Mark White received the other). At that time, she was the sixth woman to receive an honorary doctorate in HSU's 89-year history.
Dr. Izetta was a life member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an organization of outstanding women educators, and the Texas State Teachers Association. She directed three seminars for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and was the first president of the Denton Classroom Teachers Association. This accomplished educator was a life-long learner and teacher. Active in the First Baptist Church, she taught Sunday School lessons to many of Frisco's long-time residents. Miss Izetta died on May 22, 1991.
Taken as excerpts from a document written by Izetta on her life and the history of her family.
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