Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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January 7, 2013

Column: THE CAREER PLANNING ACADEMY: Before she died, hard-boiled educator Dr. Edith Marie "Mimi" Pewitt raised troubled young minds and transformed the lives of many Fort Worth ISD students

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FORT WORTH —

Every now and then, when chatting with Toby and Danny outside during lunch, I would glance at the windows to the school and notice Dr. Pewitt right there carefully watching me. I think she winked at me one of those times. (I could be wrong.)

Don't misunderstand me: subtlety was NOT Dr. Pewitt's area. She could be as loud and bombastic as she needed to be to get her point across to the more belligerent students. There were many, many, many "tough guys" at my school who were terrified of her.

And they were right to be scared. I remember incurring her wrath one particular time. I had been foolish enough to join a group of students exiting a classroom in protest to the way one substitute was teaching.

The lot of us — full of ourselves — trotted down the stairs, only to find Dr. Pewitt waiting for us. She was not happy. We tried to explain what we were doing, but Dr. Pewitt proceeded to stop her feet, yell, wave her fists and general scare the attitude right out of us.

We RAN — not walked — back to the classroom.

The school in general generated more than a little drama.

Dr. Pewitt, by the way, was a larger lady, but you'd never know that by the way she moved during a crisis.

One day my senior year, a bloodcurdling scream came from the upstairs men's room. Dr. Pewitt seemingly defied gravity, bolting from her downstairs office, up the stairs to the men's room in seconds flat. She handled that situation, although my memory fails me as to how.

Even later that year, there was a media flutter when an alleged member of Paschal High School's "Legion Of Doom" student vigilante group was suspended from his home school, Paschal, and reassigned to the Career Planning Academy the very semester he was slated to graduate.

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