DR. KATE BELL
Catherine Atkinson Bell was born on June 29, 1907 in Groveton, Texas. She was one of four children of Belle Hart Atkinson and John Irving Atkinson. After graduating from high school in 1925, she attended Baylor University in Waco, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. She received a master’s degree and a doctorate degree from the University of Houston and also studied at the University of Chicago. She married Will Enoch Bell in 1934. Her husband, Judge Bell, presided over municipal court in Houston for many years.
The impact Dr. Bell has had on education is immeasurable. She began teaching in Houston ISD in 1931. Dr. Bell served the District for 47 years, holding positions of elementary teacher, principal, Director of Reading, Director of Elementary Education, and Assistant Superintendent. She served as president of the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA). In 1970, Dr. Bell participated on a committee charged with developing standards for pre-school education in Texas. She co-authored the Developmental Science Series and Skill Building Series books. She has also represented the United States teaching profession in meetings of The World Confederation of Organizations of the Teaching Profession in Paris, Dublin, Abidjan and Sidney.
Dr. Kate Bell was truly Houston Independent School District’s Ambassador of Good Will. In 1978, two years after she retired from Houston ISD, Kate Bell Elementary School in southwest Houston was dedicated. She believed in innovation and experimentation in education. “That’s the way it is with teaching, which I believe is a creative art, the most creative of any art,” Dr. Bell said. In 2003 Dr. Bell died at the age of ninety-five.