New Columbus elementary school could be named for former Carver principal

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 14, 2013 

The Muscogee County School Board will hear a recommendation at its work session Monday evening that the new elementary school being constructed at 1140 Benning Drive be named for Samuel Prince Charleston the first principal of Carver High School.

Also at the session, which will be at 5 p.m. in the Muscogee County Public Education Center on Macon Road, the board will hear a request that the name of Rothschild Middle School be changed to Rothschild Leadership Academy.

The board will hear recommendations for new principals at Gentian Elementary School and Dimon Elementary Magnet Academy as well as an assistant principal position at Eddy Middle School.

A new appointment to the library board will be discussed and the board will hear a presentation which will feature a review of the school district's 2013 CRCT, EOCT and graduation results.

Athavia J. Senior, who represents District 3, will officially make the recommendation that the school currently known as New Elementary School No. 7 be named for Charleston. The school will be 91,000 square feet with 47 instructional units. It is meant to replace the existing Muscogee and Cusseta Road Elementary Schools. The cost is $17.5 million and is being funded by the 2009 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

Charleston died in 1999 at the age of 95. After teaching in Manchester, Ga. he began his career in the city teaching social science at Spencer High School in 1932. He became principal at Carver when it was a junior high in 1954. The first high school graduation class was in 1963. He retired from that position in 1970. He had also served as principal at Claflin Elementary and Spencer Junior High which became Marshall.

Charleston, who served on the YMCA board as well as those of the Metro Urban League, Columbus Housing Authority and March of Dimes, was the first black to sit on a jury in a federal trial in Columbus.

Working at black schools he said he often got inferior tools to work with ."But the students never got inferior attention. That is what is important," he said.

When at Carver, a sign over the door read, "Through these doors pass the finest people in the world, the students of Carver High." He told a reporter, "My job as an educator was to help the students believe that about themselves as well."

At Rothschild, it is the faculty and staff requesting the name change. The school's new mission statement is "Where We Train Students for Leadership."

According to material sent to the board from principal Michael Forte , Rothschild Leadership Academy will "develop the whole child socially, emotionally, academically and ethically by providing students with learning experiences that create independent, self-aware, well balanced, and insightful leaders who enrich their neighborhoods, communities and the world while serving as a role model for others."

Being recommended by interim superintendent John Phillips Jr for the principal's post at Gentian Elementary is Jessica Burnett who last school year was an assistant principal shared by Clubview and Gentian Elementary Schools.

For the job of principal at Dimon Elementary School, Phillips is recommending Janet Sellers who this past school term was an assistant principal shared by Dimon and St. Mary's Road Magnet Academy.

For the position of assistant principal at Eddy Middle School, Phillips is recommending Jeffery Jones, a teacher at Rosehill Alternative Center.

The Muscogee County Library Board is recommending the appointment of Marion Scott to fill the unexpired term of Clark Gillett Jr. The unexpired term will end Dec. 15, 2015.

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