Dr. Myrtle Hightower has worn many hats during her time in Plano. Over the course of her 30-year career, Hightower served on several committees and started the city’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Day breakfast at Collin College.
Now, she holds a key to the city.
Plano's City Council chambers were filled with community members and admirers Monday night as she was honored for her extensive service.
Hightower began college at the age of 15 and showed her commitment to education and inclusivity early on. When she moved to Plano in the early 1980s, she became the diversity counselor for Plano ISD.
"This is an inexpressible joy to receive the key from the city," Hightower said.
Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said Hightower reminds him of his late grandmother.
“I say that not just because she's older and an elderly person, but she had a characteristic that my grandmother used to have when my grandmother would call me up and whisper advice or orders, however you want to call it,” LaRosiliere said.
LaRosiliere said that during a Rotary Club meeting over a decade ago, Hightower leaned over and whispered something he would never forget.
“She said to me, 'You're going to be our mayor someday',” LaRosiliere said. “It's like early 2000. I had not even served on City Council, mind you."
Looking out to the council chambers filled with those she called her friends, Hightower said, “This is a joy, I'm so very happy to get the keys to one of Texas' most progressive cities."
Hightower thanked several members of her community including former Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson for his work with City Council and Plano ISD. She thanked Plano’s Links chapter and other community members.
“I stand on the shoulders of Plano Links,” Hightower said.
Among her many accomplishments, Hightower Elementary in Plano was named after Hightower and her late husband, John Hightower, in 2010.