Glimpse of the Past: 17 Aug 2016
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.