Jacquelyn McGee
1929 - 2020
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MCGEE, Jacquelyn Dr. Jacquelyn Ann McGee, retired principal of Stephen F. Austin High School, died Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Born May 2, 1929, to George Cleveland McGee and Annette Jackson McGee, Jacquelyn was the third of four McGee daughters. She grew up in East Austin, helping her parents in their family-owned grocery store, "McGee's Grocery", on Canterbury Street across from the Moon Tower. Her parents lovingly and patiently guided their inquisitive, fun-loving third daughter. She attended Metz Elementary School, John T. Allan Junior High School, and graduated Austin High School in 1946. Jacquelyn received bachelors and master's degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, and in 1969 received a post-graduate degree in Education Administration. She began her teaching career in 1952 at Allan Jr. High. When the Allan building was destroyed by fire, the students and faculties of Allan and University Jr. High were called upon to follow half-day sessions on the UJH campus. When the new semester began, Ms. McGee was assigned to Austin High School as a teacher of English. When A.S. Johnston High School was built, Jacquelyn transferred to become chair of the English Department and sponsored the yearbook, school newspaper, National Honor Society and student council. Jacquelyn was promoted to "Dean of Students," a position she held for four years. Further, she wrote the school song, "Loyal Hearts," and the fight song, "Fighting Rams." Her next assignment came when she was promoted to T. N. Porter Jr. High School as Assistant Principal. This was the first year of cross-town busing, implemented to facilitate integration of the Austin Independent School District. In 1974 Jacquelyn was appointed Principal of Lamar Junior High School. That same year she was once again promoted, this time to Principal of the newly constructed Austin High School. With this assignment she became the first woman in the State of Texas to serve as principal of a high school in a major urban center. Under Jacquelyn's leadership her school received a steady stream of accolades. She encouraged maximum student and staff participation in the administration of her school. She was also recognized for her special skill in planning, organizing, and establishing exemplary school governance. Jacquelyn also developed and implemented a more rigorous attendance policy for her school, as well as an honors graduation plan designed to encourage increased enrollment in a more academically challenging course of study. The attendance plan was subsequently adopted by the Board of Education for all secondary schools in the District. Jacquelyn consistently encouraged special events to identify and address school needs. Additionally, she sought ways to recognize and honor student and faculty achievement. The "Austin High Hall of Honor" with its annual Dedication Day ceremony is an example of activities that she supported with great pride. "Distinguished Graduates" and "Honored Faculty" were recognized and celebrated. McGee herself was recognized as both "Distinguished Alumnae" and "Honored Faculty". Students and faculty in 2001 further honored Ms. McGee by naming their new performance facility "The Jacquelyn McGee Performing Arts Center." During the time she was Principal, the Austin Association of Teachers, The Texas Association of Journalism Directors, The Central Texas Personnel and Guidance Association, and The Vocational Education Teachers of Texas named McGee "Administrator of the Year". The University of Texas also honored her as "Outstanding Administrator." Both the American Association of University Women and the International Delta Kappa Gamma Society further designated her as the "Outstanding Woman in Education." The Austin American Statesman and the Austin Citizen newspapers honored her two different years as one of five "Outstanding Women in Austin." The Delta Kappa Gamma Society also recognized her as "Outstanding Administrator." After her retirement in 1988, following twelve years as Principal, Jacquelyn became the Austin Independent School District's only Secondary Supervising Principal and she was called back to duty to serve as "Interim Principal" of various schools as needs surfaced in the AISD. Ms. McGee served as president of the Austin Association of Public School Administrators, as well as that organization's Professional Consultation Council. She served two terms on the National Board of Directors of the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Additionally, she was recognized as a "Fellow" in the Kettering Foundation's IDEA Academy of Fellows. She has been listed in "Who's Who Among American High School Administrators", "Most Prominent Educators of Texas" and "Who's Who of American Women." A highlight in her professional career came when the United States Department of Education paid tribute to Austin High School as one of only forty "Outstanding High Schools in the United States," one of only two high schools in the State of Texas, so designated. She was thrilled to have her faculty and staff recognized for their high standards and consistent commitment to excellence. Ms. McGee was invited to the White House by President Ronald Reagan to receive this honor. Jacquelyn was recognized as an effective listener who could be tough and gentle at the same time. Her sense of humor was said to be one of her most effective tools. Jacquelyn is survived by sister, Lou McGee Kasmarek. Her sisters: Nettye McGee Caldwell of Austin, and Helen McGee Behe of Mt. Clemens, Michigan are deceased. She had eleven nieces and nephews: Tom Caldwell, III, Catherine Caldwell Gourley, Mark Cleveland Kasmarek, John McGee Caldwell (deceased), Marla Catherine Francis, Susan Lynette Caldwell, Diane Behe Gorch, George Behe, Paul Behe, Chris Kasmarek and Tony Kasmarek, along with additional lake-family members, Mickey Rogers, Brad Rogers and David Ball. "Jackie", as her family and friends knew her, had a magical home on Lake Travis, which she named, "Goo's View". From the hilltop overlooking Pool Canyon, Jackie welcomed her family to spend summer vacations on the lake. Swimming, waterskiing, boating, bird watching, sailing and horseback riding were among the past times of the children of Goo's View, along with playing dominoes and pitching horse shoes. Jackie's fondest memories were of those family gatherings. She spoke of those years, saying "Those were the golden days - it just doesn't get any better than that". Jackie compiled a guitar songbook of her favorite tunes (some of which, she personalized with her own lyrics) and provided musical and percussion instruments to play, and led in singing and directing "Open Houses" for all to sing those family harmonies and perform around the camp fire. In her later years, Jackie lost her vision to Macular Degeneration. She attended classes at the Texas School for the Blind. She purchased cutting edge computer software and continued to live a productive, full life. She loved writing and mastered the software to achieve her many goals. In her later years, she loved entertaining her dearest friends and family for poolside parties at her home on Barton Creek where live music was always requested and laughter always shared. Jacquelyn Ann McGee was a beloved resident of Brookdale Northwest Hills, where she lived for the last eight years. Her love of music pulled her through and one of her favorite accomplishments was playing DJ for Brookdale's weekly happy hour. Ms. McGee died quietly in her sleep and is currently writing a songbook, somewhere, in parts unknown. Cremation will be by Weed Corley Fish Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Austin High School Hall of Honor, 1715 Caesar Chavez, Austin Texas 78703.

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Published in Austin American-Statesman on Jun. 4, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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37 entries
October 9, 2020
Ms McGee was an incredible person. She was my principal. She was very kind, and took time for everyone, including me! She always seemed happy and willing to help you. She was approachable and easy to talk to. I had no idea of all of her widely varied skills, and honorable accomplishments ! She was pleasant and humble in spite of her stature. I loved her, and was blessed by her. Heaven is an even better place now that Ms. McGee is there. God bless us, one, and all. Thankful to have known her.
God's Love and Blessings to her loved ones.
Sincerely, , Keely Waltrip. Class of 1978
Keely Waltrip
July 30, 2020
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief. I truly enjoyed having Ms.McGee as our principal. Graduate of 1978.
Charlotte
Student
June 18, 2020
My family and I wish to thank you all for your heartfelt condolences. Ms. McGee was one of a kind and it eases my sorrow, my familys sorrow to read your kind words. She loved her students and she took great pride in your accomplishments. We are all part of her legacy. Loyal forever! Susan
Susan Caldwell
Family
June 11, 2020
"Cover me with soft Earth, jasmine, lilies, and myrtle, and when they grow above me... they will breathe the fragrance of my Heart into space."
Kahlil Gibran
I saw many posts of Suzanne's speaking of her Aunt Jackie. The first time I saw a picture, I told Sooza she had to keep Aunt Jackie away from my husband because he's attracted to beautiful, intelligent women. Not too long ago, I showed him a photo of Aunt Jackie; he recognized her as his high school Journalism teacher. It was too late, he said, he fell in love with Ms. McGee years ago.
Ms. McGee was why he majored in Journalism. He said she was one of the few teachers at the predominately black school that genuinely cared about the students. She taught them to do their best and be their best. When he told his classmates about the coincidence, they all said, "Wow, I remember Ms. McGee, she was the best."
I didn't know Aunt Jackie, but I know several people whose lives she influenced, and we are all the better for it. Y'all take care of each other and thank you for sharing her with us.

Cheryl Jefferson and Charles Hamlin Nichols
Cheryl Jefferson and Charles Nichols
Friend
June 10, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always. Thank you Mrs. McGee, for your many years of service to AISD and as our wonderful Principal at S. F. Austin High School. I remember how you always had a kind word for all of students
Cindy rodriguez
Student
June 8, 2020
Was fortunate to have known her while she was at Johnston High School and enjoyed being one of her English class students. A beautiful and wonderful person inside and out. RIP Ms. McGee.
Ralph Johnson
Student
June 8, 2020
I remember going to the grocery store around the corner from our house and Ms McGee would be there helping her mom wonderful memories of the McGee family. Prayers and condolences to family and friends.
Fran Quiroz Browning
Friend
June 7, 2020
Ms. McGee was the high school principal to me and my three sisters at Austin High. I never spent time in her office (that was a good thing!) but I remember her as a fair, compassionate and smart leader of our school. During my high school years, I was a member of a Folklorico dance troupe that celebrated the Mexican American culture and traditions. Over the four years I attended SFA, I recall performing, albeit small performances at the school, thinking back now, only Ms. McGee could have allowed/approved those performances to take place. I will always reflect with admiration and respect on our beloved principal. With Gratitude, your student class of 1983.
Erlinda Ruiz
Student
June 7, 2020
She loved and respected her students, and was beloved and respected in return. Class act.
Heidi Bloch, AHS 78
Student
June 7, 2020
An amazing woman/ person. Unfortunately I was a bit of a rascal,and instead of being ugly and mean, she'd pull me in her office and" explain" the consequences of not doing right.Encouraged me to play football and get involved in Art( my passion", always had a hello for me even when my own family member who worked wouldn't.She will be missed.A championship among people.My condolences and prayers for her family.God has a major asset in Heaven now.You are truly missed.
Abel Gallardo
Student
June 7, 2020
Ms. McGee you were a wonderful principal during my time at AHS
Thank you for all you gave to the Austin School community
Pauline Alba
Student
June 6, 2020
She was a great Woman of God...she was firm and strict...gave me lots of advise and wisdom...she nothing but love for me and never ever once was she unjust with me...I wish she could see me now, she'd be proud and I wish I could have seen her one more time....her mark she made on me will forever be engraved in my heart for her...with Loyal Hearts...forever...You Go Girl!
Cora E. Robinson-Baker
Student
June 6, 2020
I saw this today and it saddens me of Mrs McGees passing. She was my English teacher at AS Johnston High in the early 60s. We wore so blessed to have such loving caring teachers like Mrs McGee, Mrs Reynolds and Mrs Brown who loved their work and never hesitated to help their students. My sincerest condolences to Mrs McGees family and loved ones and may she Rest In Peace.
Santiago Vallejo
Student
June 6, 2020
I loved Miss McGee even though sometimes I sat in her office because I got in trouble. She knew my name and called us by name as she walked down the hall. She was loved and respected; hard to accomplish for a principal, but it came easy to her. We knew when she meant business, but we also knew that she cared and wanted the best for us.
She was a majestic woman; smart in her dress and strong and kind all at the same time. I was an office aide for a bit and loved being around her and getting praise if I did a job well. And I always wanted to "do well" for her because I looked up to her. She was an outstanding principal and I was proud she was Our principal. I did not know all these wonderful things about her and it makes me even more happy that I got to share some small part of knowing her. She lived a wonderful rich life and will be truly missed. Love to her family,
Trish Williams Huddleston
Class of '82
Trish Williams Huddleston
Student
June 6, 2020
It was a privilege to have met such an accomplished women.
Patricia Martinez
Acquaintance
June 6, 2020
Im honored to have known Miss MCGEE as a student at T N Porter Jr High. Her accomplishments and legacy in education are especially remarkable - she was ahead of her time. Miss MCGEE certainly made an impression on me.
Jill K Wilkins
Student
June 5, 2020
I am sorry to hear of Ms McGee,s passing. She was my counselor and I was her office aide I think in both my junior and senior years at Johnston High. She was the sweetest lady I ever knew. May she rest in peace. Gloria Maldonado--JHS ,64
Gloria Maldonado Kruse
Student
June 5, 2020
Ms. McGee you are and always will be "Everybody is Somebody at Austin High" and Loyal Forever!! You were the best Principal at Austin HS. You were Strong, Stern, Awesome, Amazing and had the most beautiful smile. You are a "One of Kind" as a loving person, sister, aunt, teacher, mentor and principal!! You served well as HIS servant, may you Rest in Peace, sweet angel. #classof1980
Vanessa Estrada
Student
June 5, 2020
I suspect Jackie and my late Mother, Maida Draker, are having a fine time catching up on the other side. They enjoyed so many years and so much fun~ both at Austin High and on the many adventures outside of school. My deepest sympathies to you all.
Sheryl Draker
Friend
June 5, 2020
Thank you Principal McGee for the conversations during my tenure at AHS. Rest in peace. "Loyal Forever" Class of 86'
Joseph Powe
Student
June 4, 2020
She was my principal in '77-80.... Strict but nice...she knew me too well I'm afraid..but she'd be proud of me now.Gid bless her and her family.
Abel Gallardo
Student
June 4, 2020
She was the BEST PRINCIPAL at SFA high school. She always had the smile too. Class of 86' and Loyal forever....
Jessica Garza
Student
June 4, 2020
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Eva Maldonado
Student
June 4, 2020
Awwww! Rest in peace, Ms. McGee. You were kind and fair. You actually knew us, which is rare! I will always remember you with great fondness! I was fortunate to have you as a principal at Porter Jr. High AND Austin High.
Katherine Kolander, AHS Class of 79
Katherine
Student
June 4, 2020
What a wonderful life she lived, serving our community. Loyal Forever!
Silke Morin
Student
June 4, 2020
Loyal Forever.
Ann Hernandez
Student
June 4, 2020
True and Loyal Austinite. She will be missed.
Jesse Zapata and Angie Rivera Zapata
Student
June 4, 2020
She was my bbn principal at AHS. I
I am sadden to hear. I liked Ms. McGee. Always a good role model.
Alex Martinez
Student
June 4, 2020
I remember seeing her at Porter and she see scared me at first. Later I remember her putting a hand on a friends shoulder and even later on my shoulder. She once told me smile and I will smile back. Thank you for bringing a smile out of a scaredy-cat. My condolences and prayers are with the family.
Kathy Triplet
Student
June 4, 2020
She will be sorely missed! She was an awesome lady and the best principal!
Paula Israel
Student
June 4, 2020
Ms. McGee was an outstanding educator and person. She was my mentor and counselor at Johnston HS. She advised me and gave me many opportunities for learning and personal growth. She was definitely one of a kind and was loved by many of her students. May she Rest In Peace.❤✝
Rita Cuevas
Student
June 4, 2020
Yes. Loyal Forever.
John Spooner
Student
June 4, 2020
She was my High School Principal Graduded Class of 86
James
Student
June 4, 2020
was in her first class at Johnston High in 1960, Best teacher ever.
Helen Cutler
Student
June 4, 2020
Loyal Forever Ms. McGee
Sharon Velasquez
Student
June 4, 2020
KEEP THE FAITH THAT PRINCIPAL JACKIE MCGEE HEARD OUR MASTER'S CALL AND SPIRITUALLY TRANSITIONED FROM LABOR TO REWARD, WHERE THERE IS COMPLETE REST WITH OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.
GOD BLESSED US A.S.JOHNSTON HIGH STUDENTS BACK IN THE SIXTIES WITH YOUR FAITHFUL LEADERSHIP AS OUR PRINCIPAL.
RESPECTFULLY,
Casey James-Calhoun and Dr. Jeffree James, M.D.
Casey James-Calhoun
Student
June 4, 2020
Ms McGee Always made me feel special when shed see me workIng as an office aide! Ive spoken about her to my daughters often! So glad she was my principal! Diana Zapalac-Janecka AHS class 81
Diana Zapalac-Janecka
Student
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