Long, who currently lives in Dallas and is the daughter of J.W. Long’s oldest son, Wendell Long, was delighted to speak with Ms. Hedke and share the wealth of knowledge and history she had regarding her grandfather, John Wesley Long. Long recalls her grandfather being a kind yet serious man who was dedicated to education.
“I have fond memories of my grandfather, J.W. Long,” shared Long. “He was a kind and intelligent man, who set high standards for himself and expected the same of others. He listened well and offered advice sparingly, making it all the more impactful.”
Long attended a special presentation held at J.W. Long Elementary School on Friday, February 5, 2021 for the unveiling of a display at the entrance of the campus that celebrates and honors the life and legacy of J.W. Long. The unveiling was broadcasted to the community through a live-streamed video that can be found on the J.W. Long Elementary Facebook page.
“Our family has been very pleased with the naming of this school for our grandfather,” shared Long. “It is such a beautiful school with many bright colors; I know he would have been very proud.”
In a video created by Hedke to honor J.W. Long for Black History Month, she shares that J.W. Long never lived to see Terrell ISD as an integrated school District. His death on November 29, 1967 preceded the desegregation of schools in Terrell by two years.
“J.W. never saw a Terrell like we have now,” said Hedke in the video. “A Terrell where students of all races can sit in the same classroom.”
“Neither of my parents or grandparents believed in segregation,” said Long. “My family believed that while it was an obstacle, it was not determinative. My grandfather was very skilled at having good results in the faces of challenges.”
As Terrell ISD continues to celebrate Black History Month, specifically the African American men and women who contributed to the local progress of the Terrell community and schools, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Janet Long and the entire Long family for sharing the life and legacy of J.W. Long with our students and staff. May we all answer the call to continue his work in education for all students.