T.I.S.D. to Honor Longtime Educator
Texarkana Independent School District (TISD) will honor Marvin Brewster as their 2018 inductee into the TISD Hall of Fame.
He will be honroed during the districts annual Texas Public Schools Week Community Breakfast. The event will be held on Tuesday, March 6 at 7:00 a.m. in the Dan Haskins Student Center at Texas High School, 2112 Kennedy Lane. The public is welcome to attend. Reservations are requested by March 1. Contact Tina Veal-Gooch at 903.794.3651 ext. 1013.
The TISD Hall of Fame award is given to a retired employee who has made a significant impact on the district and the Texarkana community. The award preserves the history of great educators who have made TISD what it is today and ensures their names and contributions are here for others to see for many years to come.
Brewster, one of six siblings (all boys), was born to William Lucas and Ollie Brewster. He grew up in the Iron Mountain Neighborhood of Texarkana, Arkansas and graduated from Washington High School in 1951 with a full music scholarship to Arkansas A&M University in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, now University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
“The Choir Director from Arkansas A&M came to Washington High to hear one of our choir programs,” said Brewster. “He gave me a scholarship right then and there. That is the way I got through college – I sang my way.”
Brewster received his Bachelor of Arts in Music in 1955. He completed his Master of Arts in Music in 1967 at East Texas State University-Commerce, now Texas A&M University-Commerce.
He began his career in Music Education in 1955 with Hollandale Public School District in Mississippi. After teaching there for five years, Brewster returned to Texarkana to teach music at Texarkana Arkansas School District from 1960-1962.
It was there he met a wonderful Third Grade Teacher at W.T. Daniels Elementary by the name of Frances Alton. “He would teach music every Thursday at the school and that is how our paths crossed,” said his wife. By June 1961, the two were married and a fifty-six year marriage was born.
Brewster made his way to Texarkana Independent School District in 1962 overseeing the Eighth Grade Choir at Dunbar High School. From 1968-1971, he served as the Choir Director for Westlawn Junior High School and Pine Street Junior High School. By 1972, he was the Choir Director for Texas High School where he remained until 1985. During the school year of 1986 until his retirement in 1995, Brewster moved into administrative duties serving as Counselor for Pine Street Middle School.
While teaching, Brewster served as the Music Minister from 1960-2014 for Lonoke Baptist Church and sang for many years with the Texarkana Regional Chorale. Both Brewsters continued teaching after retirement by serving as Substitute Teachers for TISD.
“My parents encouraged all of us boys to get an education,” said Brewster. “Our mother sang in the church choir. We all loved music.” Brewster’s older brother, Artis, was a Band Director and played in the Texarkana Jazz Orchestra. His brother Willie received the same music scholarship to Arkansas A&M University-Pine Bluff and sang with the college choir. The youngest brother, Clinton, was a recipient of the same scholarship as his other brothers and received his degree in music while brother May Field went on to be a minister.
Although Brewster says ‘music is always in you,’ he told his children to go find something to do besides teach school. However, that is where both of them currently are in their careers.
Portia Brewster Smith is a high school Counselor with DeSoto ISD. She is married to Allanda Smith and they have a daughter – Troi (31) – who is an Athletic Trainer for the school district.
Margo Brewster James serves as an elementary Counselor with DeSoto ISD. Married to David W. James, Jr., they have three children – Jessica Franklin (33), David W. James III (30) and Cara Lynn James (11).
The Brewsters are proud great grandparents to Hadley James (7 months), David W. James IV (2), Noah Franklin (4) and Sydney Franklin (6).