Here are the new names proposed for Austin ISD buildings tied to Confederate figures
Thursday, October 4, 2018 by KUT News
The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees is scheduled to vote Oct. 22 on the proposed new names for four AISD buildings named for Confederate figures.
After a long dispute about whether the buildings commemorated the state’s struggle with racism and inequity, the board voted 7-2 in February to change the names. The buildings to be renamed are Eastside Memorial, Lanier and Reagan high schools, the Allan Center, and Fulmore Middle School.
A committee at each building came up with new names. The committees – made up of teachers, parents and community members – submitted their top three choices to the board.
The Allan Center
This building in East Austin is a former elementary school that the district now uses for a pre-K program and offices.
The only name the committee submitted for the Allan Center is Anita Coy.
According to the district, Coy was a principal at Allan Elementary for seven years before she became an area superintendent. She served AISD for 20 years and started a fellowship program for first-year teachers. The committee said she was well known for her genuine character and hands-on approach, and that she often greeted families personally.
Fulmore Middle School
One of the names the committee proposed is Sarah Beth Lively. Lively was a teacher at Fulmore for 25 years. She was also a mentor to journalists on the school paper and continued to volunteer with these students even after she retired. Lively led her journalism students to win University Interscholastic League competitions against high schoolers, and she was reportedly known for her loyalty and love for the school and her students.
The committee also proposed naming the school Moon Tower after the city’s iconic light fixtures or South Congress after the school’s location.
Sidney Lanier High School
The committee proposed naming the school after Diana H. Castañeda, an East Austin activist and board trustee from 1992 to 1996. According to her obituary two years ago, Castañeda was the first Latina elected to the Austin school board. She was involved in the school, city politics and women’s rights, and she made efforts to advocate for low-income communities, social justice and making public education accessible for everyone.
The committee also proposed dropping Sidney from the school’s name and just going by Lanier High School or calling it North Central after the school’s location.
John H. Reagan Early College High School
The committee proposed renaming the school Barack H. Obama, after the nation’s first black president.
Alternatively, it proposed dropping John H. from the school’s name and just going by Reagan High School or calling it Northeast after the school’s location.
Eastside Memorial High School
Members of the Eastside Memorial renaming committee asked for more time to propose names while the school goes through a renovation from the 2017 bond.
Claire McInerny contributed to this report.
This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT. Photo by Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT.
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