KILLEEN, Texas – Construction is underway for Elementary School #36. However, this won’t be the name – instead it will be Pat Carney Elementary.
This week, the Killeen ISD Board voted to name the school after long-time educator Pat Carney.
“She was a great advocate. She believed every student had the right to get an education,” said Nikki McDaniel, Carney’s daughter.
Patricia Brann Kemp Carney was an educator at Killeen ISD for 27 years. There, Carney served as a teacher at Peebles Elementary and East Ward Elementary schools before being promoted to Assistant Principal and Principal.
Back on October 16th, 1991, Carney’s life was cut short after a man drove his truck into a Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen where he shot and killed 23 people including Carney. At the time, it was the nation’s deadliest shooting.
“It changed all of our lives. As I said, we lost a huge part of my dad, too. He was never the same after that,” said McDaniel.
After battling leukemia earlier this year, McDaniel began to champion for a school to be named after her mom.
“My bucket list was to make sure this happened for my mother. So that my grandkids will know that there great-grandmother was….I want her legacy to go on,” she added.
McDaniel went on a campaign spree. She posted on Facebook, printed t-shirts and attended school board meetings to present her case.
After months, Carney’s name was selected out of nearly 50 others. McDaniel said emotions ran high after the announcement was made.
“My brother and myself, we both fell apart. We couldn’t talk,” McDaniel said.
School Board member Joann Puser said Carney recognition is well-deserved.
“This woman was a product of our community. This woman made so many difference in childrens’ lives because she gave skills with educators and facilitators that are still working with us,” Puser said.
After decades of pain, the honor serves as a silver lining.
“The good thing that came out of this was that a school will be named after my mother, and her legacy will continue long after I’m gone. And that was my mission,” McDaniel continued.
Pat Elementary School will be located near Azura Drive in Killeen, and is scheduled to open August 2021.