About Our Namesake

  • When 38-year-old Garland McMeans inquired about job openings in Katy ISD in 1965, it didn't take Superintendent James E. Taylor long to discern the attributes this seasoned professional would bring to Katy ISD. Standing before him was a veteran, an experienced chemist, teacher and assistant principal. Wasting no time, Mr. Taylor offered Garland a job as Katy High School's counselor and the deal was sealed with a handshake. Mr. Taylor didn't know that Garland McMeans would be the synergy uniting the small town and suburban populations during a period of tremendous growth and change.

    Born in Houston in 1926, Garland grew up in Huntsville and served as an Army infantryman in the Philippine Islands and Japan during and after WWlI. After the war, he received a bachelor's degree in chemistry and math from Sam Houston State University in 1949 and went to work as a chemist for Imperial Sugar in Sugar Land. That's where he met Bootsie Janecek. When war broke out in Korea in 1950, Garland reenlisted in the Army, was sent to Officer's Candidate School and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He married Bootsie in 1951 and left for Korea. While training Korean soldiers, he experienced the joy of teaching, an occurrence that later motivated him to change his career. He returned home in 1954 and worked as a propulsion engineer for General Dynamics in Ft. Worth. In 1958, he became a science teacher and assistant principal in Eagle Lake. After receiving a master's degree in education from the University of Houston, he began his career in Katy.

    When he became principal of Katy Junior High in 1968, he told each of his teachers to be firm, friendly, and fair. In 1976, he opened West Memorial Junior High and moved with many of his students to Taylor High School when it opened in 1979. He created a smooth transition amidst fierce rivalry. When his son, Kevin, played football for KHS, no one knew what team Garland favored. He was judicious about every activity at Taylor. "When implemented, activities become traditions," he said.  "They must be good for the students, the school and Katy ISD." Garland always requested patriotic numbers in the choir and band programs.

    In 1985, he was named area superintendent and challenged others to exceed their limitations.  He believed a commitment to do one's best was the running shoes that kept Katy ISD ahead of its competition. Garland retired in 1989 to fish, golf, and write. He died on May 7, 1990. His children include former Katy ISD Executive Director for Support Services G.E. "Scooter" McMeans, Donna Lee, Joli Links and Kevin McMeans.