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Northwest renames ag facility after longtime supporter

By Erika Pedroza | Published Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The selfless contributions of a devoted supporter will be memorialized in the name of the Northwest ISD agricultural facility.

Kelly W. Box

Last Tuesday the school board unanimously approved renaming the facility the Kelly W. Box Agricultural Science Center.

Box was a former ag science teacher at Northwest High School and was named Outstanding Career and Technology Supporter by the Texas Education Agency. The Justin resident, who died last July at the age of 53 after a two-year bout with brain cancer, organized the Northwest FFA Booster Club – and helped other schools start theirs – and received the honorary State FFA Degree.

Box served as president of the Northwest FFA Alumni Association for 25 years and was a founding director of the Northwest ISD Education Foundation.

In addition to agricultural causes, Box also fully supported the district’s growth initiatives. He led an attendance boundary committee that redrew the boundaries of all elementary schools in 2001 and was a member of the NISD long-range planning committee in 2001, 2005 and 2008. He was also an area chair of the bond steering committee each of those years, laying the groundwork for the extensive growth the district has experienced in recent years.

His agricultural involvements extended beyond the school district. He and his wife, Sallye, owned and operated Morris-Box Ranch LLC in the Drop Community, outside Justin, raising Registered Red Angus cattle. He served as a leader in that industry as former president and vice president of the Texas Red Angus Association.

He also helped build and design two churches – First Baptist Church of Justin and Denton County Cowboy Church. He worked with senior adults – the “End Gate” class because “the next gate is into God’s pasture” as the Rev. Scott Brown explained at his funeral. He took the class on trips all over the U.S., Mexico and Canada and taught Sunday School and Bible study for more than 20 years.

“I was fortunate enough to know Kelly through church,” Trustee Devonna Holland said. “He was a firm supporter and leader and promoter in our community of Northwest ISD. We miss him greatly.”

Community members had the opportunity to submit nominations for the facility from May 14 through June 14. Three different nominations were reviewed by a naming selection committee committee on which Kyle Copp, Deann Hatfield, Cindy Brown and Jehrea Nail served.

The facility opened in 2003 and is located at the district’s central site at 1960 Texan Drive in Justin.

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