J. Speed Carroll
Joe Speed Carroll served as superintendent of the De Leon school system from 1909 until August 1914 when he resigned after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Carroll had apparently been hired to turn the school around by restoring discipline and improving the school in all facets. During his tenure he enforced strict discipline. He hired new teachers and supported them in disciplinary measures.
He revived a course in astronomy that had been offered as far back as 1893 and worked to improve science studies in the school. He added classes in agriculture and implemented a requirement that students complete four years in Latin to graduate.
Carroll began a subscription program among De Leon residents to raise money to purchase books for a school library and to buy new laboratory equipment. The almost $500 raised was matched by the board.
During his tenure, a new wing was added to the east side of De Leon’s lone school building after voters approved issuance of $2,000 in new bonds by an 83-2 margin.
J. Speed Carroll’s son H. Bailey Carroll was in the De Leon class of 1919 although he returned to Gatesville when his father resigned and graduated from there. H. Bailey became one of the leading historians in Texas history.