Austin ISD celebrates the life of Dr. W. Charles Akins


AISD celebrates Dr. William Charles Akins.

Austin ISD Communications

Austin ISD has been spotlighting black leaders in Austin during black history month. This week they highlighted W. Charles Akins, the namesake of Akins Early College High School.

Dr. Akins was a native Austinite and an Austin ISD pathbreaker with a multitude of firsts, including the first Black principal at a desegregated Austin high school.

The following information was provided by Austin ISD’s Staff Newsletter:

Austin original: A graduate of Austin schools (Blackshear, Kealing and The Original L.C. Anderson), Akins earned degrees at what are now Huston-Tillotson University and Prairie View A&M University. He returned to his alma mater Anderson, earning “Teacher of the Year” honors.

 A legacy of firsts: Akins taught at Austin ISD schools through the era of integration and busing , transferring from Anderson to Johnston High School – now Eastside Early College High School – where he became the first Black teacher at an integrated Austin high school.

Akins served for nine years as Austin ISD’s first Black principal at the new Anderson High School, in the wake of integration and court-mandated busing.

Media Trailblazer: Akins officiated at UIL football  and other athletic events, and became the first local Black television sportscaster on what is now KLRU-TV.

Akins’ Legacy: In 1982, Huston-Tillotson conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters on Akins. In 1998, the Austin ISD Trustees named the district’s new high school for Akins in recognition of his legacy and lasting impact.