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Waco: Head Of New School District Poverty Initiative Dies Unexpectedly

Dr. Rita Pierson (WISD photo)

Dr. Rita Pierson (WISD photo)

WACO (June 28, 2013)—Dr. Rita Pierson, 61, the veteran educator who recently moved here to head the Waco ISD’s Prosper Waco initiative as the district’s Community and Family Outreach Officer, died Friday morning in Houston after undergoing emergency surgery, the school district said.

As part of the initiative, which is aimed at lifting families out of poverty through education and training, Pierson was involved in bringing two programs to the local business community, “Bridges Out of Poverty” and “Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-by-World.”

Pierson was formerly an educational consultant with AHA Process, Inc., which owns the two programs, and became acquainted with the Waco ISD while training teachers here how to better educate children from poverty, the district said.

"Dr. Pierson was a unique educator who had a passion for changing the quality of life of families and children from poverty," said Waco ISD Superintendent Dr. Bonny Cain.

"In her short time with the district, she had already made an impact on our community and was busily preparing for the new school year. Her untimely death is a tragic loss for Waco ISD that cannot be measured."

Funeral services were pending Friday.

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