State leader from Hillsborough County a powerful advocate for public education

Hillsborough County is full of inspiring, iconic, and interesting places, and there are remarkable people behind them. In this occasional series we explore namesakes of some of the county's well-known buildings, schools, parks, and roads.

Who was T. Terrell Sessums?

The Hillsborough County lawyer and onetime Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives helped establish the University of South Florida, chaired the Florida Board of Regents, and was instrumental in setting up Hillsborough County's Environmental Protection Commission and the Tampa Sports Authority. Sessums, 1930-2020, also was president of the student body at the University of Florida, where he received bachelor's and law degrees. He died in June, five days short of his 90th birthday.

Why name an elementary school for him?

Throughout his career Sessums was a fierce proponent of public education. He served on many boards and committees, often related to education. He chaired boards of trustees at the University of Tampa and Florida Southern College in Lakeland, and is namesake of Terrell Sessums Mall on USF's Tampa Campus. His wife of 54 years, Neva S. Sessums, was a longtime schoolteacher in Hillsborough County.

About T. Terrell Sessums Elementary School

Home of the SessumsĀ Stallions, the K-5 school at 11525 Ramble Creek Drive in Riverview was named for Sessums in 2003. He joined the school's PTA during his last visit to the campus. Like all Hillsborough County public schools, virtual (online) classes at Sessums Elementary began Aug. 24. Students may opt for virtual instruction or on-campus classes beginning Aug. 31.

Last Modified: 1/26/2024, 4:34:15 PM

Was this page helpful?