Shackelford Elementary opened its doors in 1988 as a first through fifth-grade campus. In 2011, it began housing kindergarteners. Shackelford Elementary was formally dedicated on August 28, 1988, in honor of longtime Waxahachie ISD educator, Sovola Shackelford.
The J.S. Bynum family moved from Big Springs, Texas to Ellis County in 1910. The Bynums had two daughters, Sovola and Lois, who were reared and educated in Ellis County where both graduated from Waxahachie High School. At an early age Sovola Shackelford, a member of the Class of 1926, knew she wanted to pursue a career in the field of education.
Mrs. Shackelford attended Trinity University, Southern Methodist University, and North Texas State University, where she received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. After teaching several years in the Ellis County rural areas of Laneview, Boyce, Byrd, and Gove Creek, she began her teaching career in 1945 with the Waxahachie Independent School District at Ferris Elementary School. After teaching third grade for nine years, she became the school principal in 1954. During her twenty-one years as a school administrator, she served both the Ferris Elementary and Northside Elementary campuses. Mrs. Shackelford retired from her forty-eight years as an educator in May of 1975. She was an active member of several clubs in Waxahachie, and in 1963 was named “First Lady” of Waxahachie. Mrs. Shackelford was a charter member of Ferris Heights United Methodist Church and was an avid world traveler having traveled throughout the United States and Europe.
Mrs. Shackelford was highly respected in Waxahachie and Ellis County for her contributions as a teacher, principal, and citizen. Shackelford Elementary school will serve as a constant reminder of her dedication and service to the students and people of Ellis County and Waxahachie.