D-Ware becomes Principal DeMarcus Ware — but just for one day – The Dallas Morning News


The catchy gospel song “New Day” by The Walls Group blared through the intercom at 7:30 a.m. Thursday at J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard School.

Not only was it a new day, but a special day for students at the east Oak Cliff school. Former Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus Ware was in the school to become principal — but for just one day.

“I took on some big shoes this morning,” Ware said, referring to Lynette Howard, Starks’ full-time principal.

Howard applied to Dallas ISD to have a notable person temporarily take over her job. She had one request: that her replacement be a Dallas Cowboy.

“I wanted someone that I felt had put in a lot of work,” Howard said, noting the heavy responsibility of being head of a school. “Being a principal is not an easy job.”

Many students had to tilt their heads all the way back to take in the 6-foot-4 athlete.

“Whoa, he’s much more ripped than I thought,” fifth-grader Colin Harris said.

Howard handed the former outside linebacker a DISD badge, complete with his picture.

A Dallas ISD identification badge, complete with his photo, was presented to former Dallas Cowboys great DeMarcus Ware for his stint as principal for a day at J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard.
A Dallas ISD identification badge, complete with his photo, was presented to former Dallas Cowboys great DeMarcus Ware for his stint as principal for a day at J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard.(Vernon Bryant / Staff Photographer)

“That’s a sexy principal, isn’t it,” Ware joked to his predecessor.

Ware read the morning announcements over the intercom, including the names of a few student celebrating birthdays. On the more difficult names, he whispered to Howard asking for help on the pronunciation.

Seventh-grader Jayden McGilveary then read a bio of the former Cowboy to the entire school, many of whose students were either very young or hadn’t been born when Ware played in Dallas.)

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“I hadn’t heard of him. I had to look him up,” fifth-grader Anthony Mathis said.

While Ware might have been an unknown to the younger crowd, he captured them with his presence and enthusiasm while roaming the halls.

“Principal Ware is a wonderful person. He’s very open, very friendly, and really has a great message to share with our students,” Howard said.

Popping into various classrooms, Ware told the students to work hard, stay in school and dream big.

“So they saw him more than just a football player, but as an educator as well,” said science teacher Terry Huval, who grew up a Houston Texans fan but said he may switch allegiances to Dallas by days’ end.

Ware listens with Starks principal Lynette Howard and students as "New Day," a gospel song by The Walls Group, plays over the intercom.
Ware listens with Starks principal Lynette Howard and students as “New Day,” a gospel song by The Walls Group, plays over the intercom.(Vernon Bryant / Staff Photographer)

In a first-grade classroom, student Dewaylin Daniels dared Ware to try and sit in his desk. Ware slipped in with ease; getting out was more of a challenge.

“You didn’t know I could get down low like that,” Ware exclaimed while dancing in the tiny desk.

After his time with the students, Ware met with parent advocates and held a roundtable discussion with teachers.

During the morning announcements, Ware mentioned the science word of the day “weather.” Taking note of the humid morning, he said: “Even though it was a gloomy day today, it didn’t matter. Dreams are spreading in this school.”

And judging by the smiles on students’ faces, the former Cowboy left a lasting impact.

“It was good just to see the kids and everybody just happy,” he said.

Ware recites the Pledge of Allegiance with Howard (left), Starks students Markayla Green, D'Coreyian Wilson, Sim'meon Williams and Ivyunna Oatman, and fourth-grade science teacher Stephanie Simon during morning announcements.
Ware recites the Pledge of Allegiance with Howard (left), Starks students Markayla Green, D’Coreyian Wilson, Sim’meon Williams and Ivyunna Oatman, and fourth-grade science teacher Stephanie Simon during morning announcements.(Vernon Bryant / Staff Photographer)



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