School Namesake: Thomas L. Hatchett, Sr. (1932 - 2003)
Thomas L. Hatchett, Sr.

Thomas L. Hatchett, Sr. Elementary School, the school formerly called the “Westlakes area” school is named for long-time Leon Valley ES, Jones MS, and Jay HS teacher.

Thomas L. Hatchett, Sr. was born in 1932 in Navasota, Texas where he spent his childhood reared by his grandparents. Mr. Hatchett's first career was his military service. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and completed a career which spanned from 1951 until his retirement in 1971. Early in that timeframe, he met and married Bettye. The couple had four children - all of whom are former Northside students and graduates from John Jay High School.

Upon retiring from military service, Mr. Hatchett started his next career, a career in education which would span 22 years. He started teaching a Leon Valley Elementary, where he taught for 5 years. He also taught at Anson Jones Middle School for 10 years. He completed his teaching career at John Jay High School where he taught for another 7 years before retiring as a teacher.

Mr. Hatchett continued in the field of education, after teaching he served on the Northiside ISD Board of Trustees for four years. He served his faith community for long time and served a chairman of his church's Deacon Board for over 20 years. Mr. Hatchett was very active in neighborhood associations and other community groups and was a lifelong advocate for all children.

Mr. Hatchett's life-long commitment to children and education can best be summed up in three words he used often, "Kids come first." He was often described as being a strong positive influence in the lives of children and in being a connected person interested in the lives of the students around him whether in school, on the playing field, or at home.

Mr. Hatchett passed away on August 30, 2003. He is survived by his wife, Bettye, and their four children, and several grandchildren.

On the afternoon of Saturday, January 29, 2005, a dedication ceremony for Thomas L. Hatchett, Sr. Elementary was held. We had over 500 individuals in attendance including Mr. Hatchett's wife, Bettye Hatchett, his family and friends, our Superintendent, Cabinet members, School Board members, NISD Deputy Superintendents, NISD Directors, NISD Administrators, Hatchett Faculty members, Community members, Parents and Students. The ceremony was taped by NISD-TV in its entirety and will be made available for purchase. NISD-TV produced a video tribute to Mr. Hatchett that aired during the dedication ceremony. Link should take you to NISD's YouTube channel.