Don Ketchum
Former Staff Writer,

Betty H. Fairfax was example in academics, athletics

November 12, 2010 by Don Ketchum, AZPreps365

It isn’t often when an individual is bestowed with the honor of having a school named after them.
In Arizona, there only are 10 high schools named after individuals, including former U.S. Senator Carl Hayden, United Farm Workers leader and community activist Cesar Chavez and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
One of the most recent schools was Betty H. Fairfax in Laveen, named after a longtime educator and administrator in the Phoenix Union High School District. Fairfax died on Nov. 7 at age 92.
The school was dedicated in 2007 and its football team is in its third varsity season, playing at Anthem Boulder Creek in the first round of the playoffs on Friday night (Nov. 12).
Fairfax was in the district for 57 years, beginning in 1950, teaching physical education and science, first at Carver High School, then at Phoenix Union, then at Central, where she was the dean of students.
She also was one of the first prominent African-American coaches (tennis). She helped pave the way for basketball legend Argie Rhymes, who starred and coached and Phoenix Union and now is the boys’ coach at Carl Hayden, Central football coach Todd Williamson, and Brian Fair, who starred at South Mountain and the University of Connecticut and now is the boys’ coach at South.
Fairfax served as an example and was a leader for thousands of students over the years, and deserved to have the school named for her.
Let’s hope that the football team, whether it wins or loses, puts forth a strong, spirited effort in her honor, and that the school’s other sports team follow that same path as a tribute during this school year and in the future.