Miss Ela Hockaday was more than an educator and school administrator; she was a visionary. When Miss Hockaday’s School for Girls opened in 1913 the course was set for a legacy of unparalleled proportions. Establishing the school upon the four cornerstones of Character, Courtesy, Scholarship, and Athletics; Miss Hockaday laid the ground work for grooming many generations of young women to strive for excellence in every aspect of life. This time line gives a glimpse into the vision and legacy upon which we and future generations are building to honor the life and legacy of Ela Hockaday.
As a lifelong educator, Ela Hockaday had many experiences in the teaching world, but it had always been her dream to found a girls’ school. In 1911 while teaching at the Durant State Normal School in Oklahoma, Miss Hockaday met Sarah Trent who was a fellow educator and would become her close friend. It was during that time that Miss Hockaday shared her desire to begin a girls’ school with Miss Trent. This idea spurred these women to accept positions at Oklahoma Women’s College in Chickasha, Oklahoma.
Soon after accepting their positions, both women became disenchanted with the political climate of the Oklahoma educational system, and they decided to leave the teaching world to become farmers in South Texas. As fate would have it, Miss Hockaday’s dream of starting a girls’ school eventually became a reality in the fall of 1913. Miss Hockaday was approached by Mr. M.B. Terrell on behalf of several Dallas families to discuss opening a college preparatory school for girls.