Alice W. Douse’s legacy lives on throughout Central Texas

Published: Feb. 26, 2023 at 11:50 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2023 at 7:23 AM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - “Kind, caring, intelligent, creative…” are just a few of the many words those who knew Alice W. Douse use to describe her.

It’s how daughter, Carla Lewis, remembers her mother.

She said her mom was very involved in her life and her three sisters, and she always had time for others in the community.

Alice W. Douse was the first African American female principal in the Killeen Independent School District.

Before that achievement, the Florida native and army wife was a devoted member of her Marlboro Heights community, where Lewis said, she and her husband joined about eight others to form Anderson Chapel AME Church.

The church would later build a community center and name it the Marion J. and Alice W. Douse Community Center, after her and her husband.

As a teacher and principal, Lewis said she impacted lives, encouraging others to do their best.

“She wanted that for her students. She wanted to make sure that they learned. When she was at church, in Sunday school or something like that she was always about bettering the individuals that were there. And, not in a bossy way. My mother, I’m always told, and I saw it too, she had a way that she could correct you and encourage you and you would go like, ‘I think she just.. I think she was just telling me that, that wasn’t the right thing that you never knew it.”

In 2017, the district opened a new school, Alice W. Douse Elementary.

Lewis said she had input on its design.

However sadly, she died in 2016 before construction was complete.

But her daughter said she would be proud of the campus’ accomplishments and the direction it’s going academically.

There is no doubt, Douse left an amazing legacy.

Her fellow KISD administrator and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated member Dr. Jo-Lynette Crayton said, “Any time I had any questions, or I needed mentoring, or I just wanted to be sure that I was doing things right for the sake of students of Killeen ISD, I automatically thought of her. She was a great mentor. Just a great person.”

While Douse had her own achievements, she also worked with a group of residents to highlight others doing well in the community.

She told their stories in the book entitled “Tapestry-African American History Woven Through the years.”

Lewis added, her mother was a woman of faith in the Lord and an overcomer of breast cancer, stroke, and a heart issue.

She fought on.

“I remember when she was in the hospital after the stroke, and she told us not to come up there so often to see her because she wanted to make sure she made both of her sessions for therapy so that she could get stronger and regain the strength of that arm.”

Completing the lesson that she taught so many at home, at work, and in the community.