Educational Giant and Former HISD Trustee Dr. Arthur Gaines, Jr. Passes Away At Age 91

By Jeffrey L. Boney, Associate Editor

The Greater Houston area lost an educational giant before the New Year, when the family of longtime school administrator and Houston Independent School District (HISD) trustee Dr. Arthur Gaines, Jr., passed away this past Friday, December 30th, after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 91.

Gaines, who graduated from the historic Wheatley High School in Fifth Ward and earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Texas Southern University, began his monumental career in education back in 1948.  Gaines was one of the very first male elementary school teachers in HISD, and eventually rose through the ranks to serve in various high-ranking positions such as principal, assistant superintendent, deputy superintendent and district superintendent.  He decided to run for school board, and served four terms as the District 4 trustee.  Gaines was appointed by the governor to serve on the Texas Southern University Board of Regents. In 1990, Gaines was appointed to the Intergovernmental Advisory Council on Education by then-President George H.W. Bush.

In 2007, Gaines, who was often referred to as the “Dean of HISD” because his tenure at HISD, stepped down as District 4 trustee after 60 years.

Gaines was the last living charter member and first polemarch of the Beta Upsilon of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and a past polemarch of the Houston Alumni Chapter, according to the Beta Upsilon chapter. He is survived by his wife Jean, as well as his children and grandchildren.

The funeral arrangements are pending as of the time of this article, but the Forward Times will make sure its readers get the information once it is received.