Glimpse of the Past: 17 Aug 2016

Marlin Brockette

Hillsboro Ties to State Educational Leadership Part III

Dr. Marlin L. Brockette 

State Commissioner of Education 1974-1979

Hillsboro Heritage League Glimpse of the Past, The Hillsboro Reporter, Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Marlin L. Brockette (1913-2000) was the inheritor of a great educa­tional tradition, serving as Commis­sioner of Education from 1974-79 in the footsteps of Dr. J. W. Edgar, first Commissioner appointed under the new system created by the Gilm­er-Aiken Act of 1949. Dr. Brockette also was the inheritor of a great tra­dition from the rural South, born and raised in a humble Methodist parson­age in Central Texas, with strong fam­ily roots in Tennessee. 


The career of Marlin Brockette, however, is evidence of a brilliant professional who lived out the Bib­lical principle that "to whom much is given, much is required." Brock­ette's heritage in Austin is of a strong leader with gentle grace...a man of ideas who involved others both in decision-making and implementation of educational policy. Dr. Brockette left a strong imprint on the schools he served in Hill County and on the edu­cational system for the State of Texas. 


Brockette was a graduate of Hill­sboro High School and held master and doctoral degrees from Baylor University and a bachelor's degree from Southwestern University. He launched his career as a sixth grade teacher at Milford in 1934-35. 


Marlin Brockette in 1967 joined the Texas Education Agency as Assistant Commissioner for Regional Educa­tion Services, a position that enabled him to help shape the newly-enacted legislation providing 20 regional dis­tricts across the state with the purpose of making service and communica­tion more available and effective for local school districts. Dr. Brockette's experience in working at schools in Milford, Irene, and Abbott, as Hill County School Superintendent and as the superintendent at Hillsboro and Orange uniquely prepared him for his leadership role at the Texas Education Agency from 1967 to 1979.


Brockette left his position on the faculty at Hillsboro High School in 1942 to serve his country in World War II as 1st Lieutenant in Company C of the 26th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division. He was award­ed the Silver Star and Purple Heart in 1945 for his service in WWII. 


In 1947 Brockette was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Hillsboro Jaycees and in 1975 received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Southwestern Universi­ty in Georgetown. In January, 1989 he was inducted into the Hillsboro Chamber Hall of Fame. 


Marlin Brockette married Mary Findley in Hillsboro, Texas on March 12, 1943; she was the daughter of Os­car and Greta Bosley Findley of Hill­sboro. They were the parents of three children, all born in Hillsboro: Betty Brockette Hager, Merlin Lee Brock­ette and Robert Findley Brockette. 

At his death in 2000, former colleagues at the Texas Education Agency recalled Brockette as "a wonderful person, a quiet man, soft-spoken, and a deep thinker. He was very much a gentleman, and Brockette had a tremendous dedica­tion and commitment to children and education." 


The Hillsboro Heritage League and Hillsboro Historic Preservation Commission will honor the Hillsboro School District for 130 years of ex­cellence and service to the commu­nity at the 7th Historic Preservation Dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, 2016 at Historic City Hall, 127 East Franklin Street, Hills­boro.