In the Fall of 2015, Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School became J. Martin Jacquet Middle School, honoring one of the longest-serving principals of Dunbar High School. The Fort Worth ISD Board of Trustees approved the renaming at the February 10, 2015, board meeting at the urging of the Dunbar Alumni Association.
The board measure stated “[Mr. Jacquet] had an exemplary impact on the lives of many students and on the Stop Six Community. His dedication and dynamic leadership created and maintained an atmosphere conducive to a quality learning experience for his students.”
James Martin Jacquet served 37 years as an educator in the Fort Worth ISD, first, as a mathematics teacher and then, as principal. He became principal of Dunbar High School in 1957 and continued in that role for the next 17 years until his retirement.
Multiple public speakers at the February 10 board meeting attested to Mr. Jacquet’s high standards of student discipline and his commitment to student success. Among them was Brenda James, secretary of the Dunbar Alumni Association and a 1970 graduate of Dunbar High School, who said, “Mr. Jacquet was a major influence on the lives of students… he had such a strong personality. We want to make sure he has a continuing legacy in the Stop Six Community.”
Mr. Jacquet was born in Houston, Texas, the second child of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Jacquet, and attended school in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Port Arthur, Texas. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Bishop College in Marshall, Texas, in 1930; and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1940. After coming to Fort Worth, he was active in many professional and community organizations and was a member of Mount Gilead Baptist Church. Mr. Jacquet was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity for 36 years, a charter member of the Fort Worth alumni chapter of the fraternity, as well as a life member.
Mr. Jacquet and his wife, the former Alice Williams, had two children, Joan Marva and James Martin Jr.
After his retirement from Fort Worth ISD, Mr. Jacquet and his wife moved to Los Angeles, California, where he worked with disabled children in the Compton School District and was an active member of the Los Angeles Trinity Baptist Church and the Los Angeles Bishop College Alumni Club.