APS facilities named for retirees, graduate

Published 6:34 pm Friday, August 13, 2021

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The Austin Public Schools Board on Monday approved the naming of several school locations for three well known individuals — Don Fox, Richard Lees, and Blair Lawhead.

The east practice field at Wescott Athletic Complex will now be known as Don Fox Field in honor of the retired school board member and longtime educator.

Fox served in a number of positions during his time in the Austin district after coming to the community in 1970. From 1970-1985 he served as Austin Packers head football coach.

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Fox retired from the board last year.

Meanwhile, a science lab at Ellis Middle School will be known as Richard Lees Lab, in honor of Lees who also served on the school board and retired last year at the end of his final term.

Lees served on the school board for over 20 years. Throughout his career, Lees was a science teacher, having started in Ellendale before coming back home to Austin, where he taught at Ellis Middle School, in 1961.

The third naming will be at Austin High School, where the student study area in the Annex will be known as Blair Lawhead Austin Music Hall of Fame.

Lawhead, a graduate of Austin High School, was a Broadway violinist, among other things. He did in 2018.

In recent years, a memorial concert organized by Blair’s brother, Brandon Lawhead, has raised money for the music programs at AHS and has included such dignitaries as Prince drummer Bobbi Z and Bon Jovi touring member Everett Bradley.