Muscogee County’s newest elementary school named after civil rights leader Dorothy Height


After being criticized last month for suggesting to name Muscogee County's newest elementary school for someone without a local connection, District 3 representative Athavia "A.J." Senior saw her proposal prevail at Monday night's school board meeting.

The school being constructed on Benning Drive will be named Dorothy Height, whom President Obama called "the godmother of the civil rights movement." She died in 2010.

The $17.5 million project, funded by the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax county voters passed in 2009, is scheduled to be finished in August 2014. It will replace Cusseta Road and Muscogee elementary schools, which will merge into the new school.

Board policy allows the member representing the new school's district to recommend the name. The board approved Senior's proposal 7-2. Naomi Buckner of District 4 and Cathy Williams, the nine-member board's lone county-wide representative, voted against it.

Mark Cantrell of District 6 also had objected to Height's lack of a local connection. Monday night, however, he dropped his opposition and explained why: "Miss Height, I think, is somebody that is a strong leader. She did many, many great things in her years while living, and I think a lot of children, especially young ladies, will have somebody to look up to."

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