HOUSTON - She was a staple in the Houston Independent School District for decades and tonight she is being remembered after succumbing to kidney failure.
Faye Bryant led quite a life and is leaving an amazing legacy. Bryant started as a teacher in the Houston Independent School District and before you know it Bryant became HISD's first African American Deputy Superintendent in 1998.
Whether posing with the Mayor or a bench dedicated in her honor, if you knew Faye Bryant you’d know the story behind the photo had something to do with helping the next generation.
"Everybody knows Faye and if you don’t, you want to get to know her because she’s one of those sweet souls that would mentor everybody,” says friend Cherise Story.
"Wherever she thought she could make a difference in the lives of children that is where she wanted to be,” says Bryant’s sister Dr. Barbara Solomon.
When Solomon found out her little sister was critically ill, she says she hopped on a plane to Houston and took the window seat to cry the whole way, but ended up next to a huge fan of her sister’s.
"She said Faye Bryant used to come to the school, she talked to the kids. She said the parents loved her, the teachers loved her and she spent that whole trip telling me stories about my sister,” smiles Dr. Solomon.
Faye B, as she was affectionately called, also served as Interim HISD Superintendent.
"There are people you want to emulate, people who lead with compassion, people who are a servant leader and that’s what Faye was,” adds Story, who is Faye B’s sorority sister.
That’s another place Bryant excelled, the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority where she became the International President of an organization with 300,000 members who are located from the U.S. to Japan and Germany to Dubai.
"So service became the mantra. She believed we could achieve things as an organization that we couldn’t as individuals,” says her sister.
As head of the AKA, Faye B encouraged others to commit to making the world a better place.
"My sister really embodied that passionate intent to make a difference," HISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan says. “The Houston Independent School District has lost a pioneering giant in the educational field. Ms. Bryant was a trailblazer who paved the way for educators like me and helped generations of students realize their full potential. We will forever be indebted to Ms. Bryant for her outstanding service, historic accomplishments, and exemplary legacy. We offer our sincere condolences to her family, friends, and community."