By Joe Southern
Before Hurricane Harvey came along the Fort Bend ISD was beset by another disaster that called for emergency measures and a lot of commitment and sacrifice.
Willowridge High School became inundated with mold over the summer and remediation and repair efforts will have the building closed until after the winter break. The students and staff have been welcomed into Marshall High School for the semester. Although it’s not an ideal situation and has caused a lot of inconvenience, it has also brought with it a spirit of friendship and camaraderie. Leading that effort and going to great lengths to unite the two schools are the principals – Marshall’s Alfred Holland and Willowridge’s Thomas Graham.
In recognition of their herculean effort to make things happen smoothly and in a short period of time, the Fort Bend Star honors them as co-Civil Servants of the Month for October.
Thomas Graham, principal at Willowridge High School, joined Fort Bend ISD in 2007 as an assistant principal at Elkins High School. He also worked as an associate principal at Travis High School before being named principal at Crockett Middle School, where he served for five years. Prior to joining the district, Graham served as an assistant principal and teacher in Alief ISD. A former FBISD Principal of the Year, Graham received a master’s degree in education and supervision from the University of Houston, and a bachelor’s degree in education from Tennessee State University.
Alfred Holland, principal at Marshall High School, returned to Marshall in 2016 after serving as principal at Bowie Middle School and previously at Jordan Elementary School. During his earlier years at Marshall, he served as an assistant principal and as the associate principal. He has also served as an elementary and middle school teacher for FBISD and Louisiana schools. A former Hunters Glen Elementary School Campus Teacher of the Year, Holland holds a master’s degree in administration and supervision and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southern University.
“I want to express my gratitude to Mr. Holland and his staff,” Graham said in August. “We could not ask for a better helping hand at this particular time.”
“When families are in need, you help them,” Holland said. “I don’t see this as Willowridge coming to Marshall and I don’t see this is Marshall and Willowridge, I see this as a family helping family. We are a community and we stand by helping family. I want Mr. Graham and Willowridge to know that we are here for you and we welcome you with open arms and if there is anything you need we are willing to help you.”