High school’s namesake has storied career in Denton ISD

Braswell dedication set for Wednesday to honor former superintendent, family

MaryRose Seaman
Dr. Ray Braswell, former superintendent of DISD, and his wife, Cydney, are pictured in front of Braswell High School. The school’s official dedication is set for March 8.

Braswell High School received its name from a man who’s been serving DISD since 1979, and on Wednesday, the school will officially be dedicated in his honor.

From biology teacher to Denton High School principal (for two weeks) to DISD superintendent, Dr. Ray Braswell has done it all. And not only does he have impressive experience as an educator, but he also has a kind heart and generous spirit.

Braswell graduated from Odessa High School and went to college at the University of North Texas. Right out of college, he took his first job at Denton High School and began teaching.

“When Billy Ryan got sick, they pulled me out of the classroom to be an assistant principal,” Braswell said. “Billy came back, but then a different assistant retired, so I was able to get that position.”

Later, when Billy Ryan High School opened, the principal of DHS moved to RHS, so Braswell moved up to principal of DHS.

“Before I even really got a chance to serve as principal, the central office changed,” Braswell said, so he moved up to the central office after two weeks.

Eventually, Braswell was asked to be interim superintendent for a year, then served as superintendent for 13 years. Since retiring in 2012, he has taught a course at UNT, played golf and traveled around the world. He now has even more reason to travel, as his daughter just moved to South Korea.

When it came to naming Denton’s newest high school, Braswell had no clue his name would be chosen. A phone call at 10:30 p.m., following the official decision, alerted Braswell and his wife Cydney to the news.

Tours of the high school will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the dedication will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium. The event will also feature performances from BHS fine arts groups.

“It’s a tremendous honor, one that I feel I have to continue to earn every day by giving back to the students and staff and supporting everything we can,” Braswell said. “I’ve loved my time here at Denton ISD, and there’s just so many teachers that made everything happen. When I see the name on the building, I don’t just see one name — I see all their names as well.”