On April 19, 2006, Board Trustees named Brownsville's newest elementary school for beloved educator Ben L. Brite.
One of fifteen children, Brite was born in 1902 on a small farm south of San Antonio. He earned a bachelor's degree from Southwest Texas State Teacher's College and Master Degrees from Texas Christian University and Southern Methodist University. While attending college, Brite distinguished himself himself as a top runner in track and field. He placed fourth in the 440-yard race at an official NCAA track meet held in Chicago at Soldier Field. In fact, Brite was considered a serious contender for the U.S. Olympic team before appendicitis derailed his track career.
After brief stints in Friendship and Harlendale, Texas, Ben Brite moved to Brownsville in 1932 and began teaching and coaching at Brownsville High School. He married Martha Ingersoll in 1933 and they had one daughter, Elizabeth, in 1941. In 1940, Brite was named principal of Brownsville High School. One year later, he assumed the role of Superintendent of Schools, a post he held until 1945. While Superintendent, Brite added additional responsibilities as Dean, the later, as President of Brownsville Junior College. A second stint as Superintendent of Brownsville Schools took place from 1959-1962.
Ben L. Brite died in 1988 and was buried in Brownsville's Buena Vista Cemetery. He is remembered fondly by al who knew him for his amicable personality and untiring efforts to provide educational opportunities for the students of Brownsville. The community paid tribute to him by celebrating April 11, 1969, as Ben L. Brite Day.
His influence and legacy was so profound that in 2006 a groundswell of support from local citizens convinced the Board of Trustees to bestow Brite's name on the district's 33rd elementary school, located on Browne Avenue.