E.P. Shaw

E.P. Shaw, left, stands next to Crystal Manning, right, during a Terrell Kiwanis Club members Jan. 3 meeting about her efforts to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in the triple jump. E.P. Shaw is Manning's great uncle.

E.P. Shaw, a Terrell icon, educator, World War II veteran and a true public servant, passed away on Tuesday at age 93.

Shaw was a Burnett High School graduate and was a teacher at Burnett High School serving as a basketball coach, vice principal and organized the summer baseball program at Breezy Hill Park. Shaw spent 40 years working in Terrell schools and was Burnett High School’s last principal and Terrell High School's first African-American administrator. He grew up in Terrell's colored schools while they were under the influence of William Henry Burnett. Shaw, left Burnett High School to serve in World War II during his senior year in 1944.

“EP Shaw was a genuine man of great character that loved the Lord, his family, and the Tigers. His legacy lives on in the many students he’s touched by his kindness, grace, and generosity. He is a true example and the embodiment of a servant leader,” Terrell Independent School District Superintendent, Micheal French, said.

As an educator, Shaw was a part of the Burnett High School integration process into Terrell High School in 1968.

According to educators employed by the school district at the time, unlike other school districts such as Dallas, Terrell schools faced no court intervention to force it to integrate. But the district proceeded slowly.

After the 1954 Supreme Court decision that ordered the desegregation of schools nationwide, most school districts took their time.

In Terrell, school integration began in the 1965-1966 school year with a program called freedom of choice.

The idea was that you'd go to your neighborhood school. A handful of black students who lived near the white school went, but most didn't, according to Herman Furlough who was a Burnett High School graduate who was also the first African American educator to teach at Terrell High School.

The same year freedom of choice was offered; the school district completed building new schools, with the new high school situated in far north Terrell.

"Part of finally integrating, was the threat of losing Federal funding," Shaw said. "With building the new schools, the district ran low on money."

According to Shaw, in 1964 or 1965, then superintendent Grady Hester called a community meeting to inform the public the schools had to integrate.

"All the departments started having meetings together to find out what everyone was doing and to get ready to bring the schools together," Shaw said.

In the 1968-1969 school year, the senior class of Burnett merged with the Terrell High School. The following year the rest of the grades were integrated.

Shaw was also a member of the Terrell’s Renaissance Club that helped senior citizens and encouraged children to get an education. Shaw joined the Renaissance Club in 1958.

Those were the two areas of civic duty where Terrell's distinguished Renaissance Club made its biggest impact in the community - especially among African-Americans.

The Renaissance Club, which started from a group of concerned men who wanted to get involved in their community, has been doing that since the organization began in 1937.

“The club has been a real asset to my life,” Shaw said. “We just help out the community in any way we can,” said Shaw. “This organization was built on some real, reliable Christian men and I would hope the club has been an asset to the community.”

In 2014, the Kiwanis Club presented its Service Above Self award to E.P. Shaw.

In 2014, the Kiwanis Club presented its Service Above Self award to E.P. Shaw.

The family will host a visitation and wake on Friday, June 28 from 6PM to 8PM at the First Baptist Church in Terrell.

A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, June 29 at 11 AM at the First Baptist Church in Terrell under the direction of Dubose Funeral home.

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