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Sem Elementary Dedicated Sept. 10 (September, 2006)

The first woman to be elected as a Frisco School Board Trustee, Isabel Sem, was all smiles Sunday September 10 as Isabel Pierce Sem Elementary was officially dedicated. She is the daughter of a teacher and credited her parents with her respect for public education.

Sem was joined by her two sons, Stephen and Michael, both graduates of Frisco High School, her daughter-in-law and two granddaughters, as well as a multitude of friends and family. The room was overflowing with well-wishers and Sem faculty and parents. The students have already been attending school “Sem”blies. The Sem Super Singers performed at the event.

City Councilman Bob Allen spoke about Sem’s many contributions to Frisco. He described her as his mentor. He noted that she can cajole and inspire anyone to help out other people in the community. He credited her with personally pointing out to city leaders the need for community parks in older parts of the city.  He bragged that he was the only person who has learned to say “no” to Sem but admitted he wouldn’t attempt it in person or even over the phone. Sem was active in his campaign for city council, but her activities reach far beyond politics. She is a long-time member of First United Methodist Church and one of the founding members of the Frisco Heritage Association. She was also a founding board member of the Frisco Education Foundation. As a newcomer to Frisco in the 1970s, Sem was a member of the Young Homemakers Club, the Frisco Garden Club and the PTA.

Sem also revealed how she decided to run for school board at a time when no women had ever served. She and some friends were sitting around the table talking about the possibility of a woman running for school board when Mary Mathis, better known to all as The Snow Cone Lady who runs Frisco’s cone stand on Main Street, looked at Sem and said, “Isabel, you should run for school board.”

Superintendent Rick Reedy expressed honor at being able to dedicate the school with Sem, who he has known and admired for many years. She was serving in an appointed position to fulfill the term of a member who had moved when Reedy was hired to serve as superintendent.

Sem was honored with a flag from Congressman Ralph Hall and was shocked to discover that her own former principal Mr. Simpson had attended the event. She was in the middle of her speech when she spotted him in the audience and recognized him.

Sem Elementary is located at 12721 Honey Grove in Frisco.