|Advocates for keeping Wilson's name|
on new middle school gather.
The controversy is based on one group's desire to retain the name Woodrow Wilson Middle School, and the viewpoint of others that the school should be renamed because of Wilson's racist past.
The group decided on an additional four meetings of the committee with the next meeting, on June 19, spent gathering public input. The location of that meeting has not been set.
Before the meeting, chaired by BOE member Lisa Loomis, could even begin former Common Council member Hope Kasper asked why the committee was meeting.
"Under what authority are you meeting, and taking up this task," Kasper asked before the meeting was gaveled. "What's the statute that gives you authority to take this up when it's a Common Council responsibility?"
"We'll get to that," Loomis assured. She then went on to inform the gathered residents that no public testimony would be allowed at the first, and formative meeting, where she explained that ground rules would be set for upcoming meetings, and a historical perspective of school names would be considered. She also indicated that the BOE directed the committee to only consider name of individuals who were deceased, and who had a major significance in Middletown. She noted that the committee could also consider geographical and other place names.
Loomis assured those gathered that the committee had the authority to consider new names for the middle school, granted by the Board of Education in a unanimous vote, and that under city ordinance 2322 the full board would vote on a name and pass it to the Common Council for approval.
Town historian Deborah Shapiro and WWMS assistant principal David Mierzdjewski, provided background on the naming of the two high school in Middletown (Woodrow Wilson, and MHS), which were merged after the new high school was dedicated.
|Bill Corvo talks about Ida Keigwin|
Corvo provide insights into Keigwin's dedication to educating immigrant children who were new to the US, and her advocacy of peace and understanding. Corvo vowed to donate his collection of letters written by Keigwin to his father, and his father's notes from her class, to the library of the new school if the committee decided that the library would be named for the deceased teacher.