Dr. Terry Flowers has become legendary within the Dallas education community for his tenure as headmaster and executive director of St. Philip’s School and Community Center. Since 1983, Terry has not only instilled the importance of education with the South Dallas community, he has “guided St. Philip’s to offering a variety of services beyond education, including a children’s health clinic that serves over 1,500 children, a food pantry that serves over 1,600 children and adults, a variety of after-school programs and hot meals for the community.”
His backstory is one that filmmakers would relish. The oldest of five children, he knew a childhood in which his father died early on and his mother worked in a “sweatshop doing all she could to make ends meet.”
According to Terry, “We were po’, which is when you’re so poor you can’t afford the ‘o” or the ‘r’… What got me here today was fear of my mother, fear of God and education.”
Instead of taking the Chicago Bears up on its offer of trying out for the football team, Terry opted to pursue a masters’ degree in education.
The results? In the past 19 years, Terry has seen 100% of the St. Philip’s students “who complete its K-6th grade program [graduate] from high school and 95% have been accepted to a university.”
As for the surrounding neighborhood, 50 drug houses and seven liquor stores have been shut down and a nearby nightclub is “being refurbished into an athletic field house for the 700-area students, who participate in the school’s athletics program.”
On Wednesday, March 23, Terry will be honored at the Belo Mansion with the 2016 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility.
He will join the list of past recipients like Lyda Hill, Gail Griffin Thomas, Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, Walter J. Humann, Ruth S. Altshuler, Bob Buford, Ronald G. Steinhart, Michael M. Boone, Zan W. Holmes Jr., Roger Staubach, Caren Prothro, Tom Luce, Ron Anderson, Jack Lowe Jr., William T. Solomon, Stanley H. Marcus, Charles C. Sprague and Curtis W. Meadows Jr.
Bobby Lyle is chairing the luncheon with tickets starting at $125. For more information, check with Carla Scott Jones at 214.768.4575.