Billie Marian Garret Stevenson is the daughter of Bill and Lockie Garrett. She was born in 1927 on their cotton farm two miles south of Fate on what is now FM 551. She began school in 1933 in Fate and continued there through the sixth grade. At that time, all Fate students had to choose whether to attend Rockwall or Royse City schools. Billie Garret chose Rockwall.
At Rockwall High School, Billie was an honor student, a cheerleader, and the lead in the senior play. Upon graduation, she enrolled in North Texas State College at Denton where she earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and her teaching certificate.
Billie began her teaching career at Lewisville High School where she taught business courses and also coached girls’ basketball and sponsored the school yearbook and the senior class. That summer, she married Bill Stevenson whom she met in the first grade when they were in school in Fate. She took a job with the USDA Soil Conservation Service in Rockwall while her husband began his teaching career in Dallas. The next fall Billie accepted a teaching position in the Wilmer-Hutchins school district where she taught business courses, organized and choreographed the drill team, and sponsored the yearbook and UIL competitions. She also found time to work in the superintendent’s office. In 1954, she resigned teaching to stay home with her son Allen. In 1960, a position opened at Rockwall High School, and Mrs. Stevenson began a 26-year tenure teaching English, business courses, and office education while sponsoring the cheerleaders, the school yearbook, the junior and senior classes, the senior prom, the student council, UIL competitions, National Honor Society and Office Education Association competitions.
After 31 total years in the classroom, Billie Marian retired in 1986. Currently, she is a member of the Texas Retired Teachers Association, Rockwall Area Retired Teachers Association, the teachers’ sorority Delta Kappa Gamma, Friday Study Club, RHS Ex-Students Association, Rockwall County Historical Foundation and numerous other civic and church groups. Billie Marian and her husband Bill still live in Fate and she spends many hours volunteering as one of the “Fate Girls” who promote the history of the community.
Billie Stevenson Elementary opened its doors on Monday, August 26, 2013.