At the June 10, 2021 meeting of the Corvallis School Board, Superintendent Noss presented his recommendation for renaming Husky, Jaguar, and Wildcat Elementary Schools. You can view the full recommendation HERE.
- The board will take up the action of renaming these schools next fall.
- There will be two additional meetings (August and September) allowing public comment before a final vote.
Proposed Name for Husky Elementary (formerly Hoover)
The proposed name for Husky Elementary is Bessie Coleman Elementary. As a multicultural woman, she is celebrated for her ambition, creativity, and her courage. She was born in Jim Crow Texas in 1892, and died in an air crash in 1926. Her mother was Black and her father was biracial, with Cherokee grandparents.
Bessie Coleman was the first African-American woman to earn a pilot’s license which she accomplished by learning to speak French and moving to France. In 1921 she earned her international pilot’s license from the Fe´de´ration Ae´ronautique Internationale, and immediately began speaking publicly to inspire interest in founding a flight school for African American students. She was deeply respected by African American communities who recognized not only her flying skills but also her contributions to civil rights and racial justice in the darkest era of post-Civil War society.
More details about Bessie Coleman can be found at the following links:
Slotnick, Daniel E. “Overlooked No More: Bessie Coleman, Pioneering African-American Aviatrix.” New York Times, December 11, 2019.
Alexander, Kerri Lee. National Women’s History Museum, s.v. “Bessie Coleman.” National Women’s History Museum, 2018. https://www.womenshistory.org/
“The Official Website of Bessie Coleman.” http://www.bessiecoleman.org/
Proposed Name for Jaguar Elementary (formerly Jefferson)
The proposed name for Jaguar Elementary is Kathryn Jones Harrison Elementary. Kathryn Jones Harrison was born in 1924 in Corvallis, she is currently 97 years old and living in Salem. She is an inspiration and hers is a story of perseverance in the face of many obstacles for both a woman and a native person. She is a member of the Confederated tribes of the Grand Ronde and one of the first leaders of the contemporary tribe who led the Grand Ronde and Siletz tribes through restoration.
More details about Kathryn Harrison can be found at the following links:
Olson, Kristine. Kathryn Harrison,
Kathryn Jones Harrison, https://www.up.edu/commencement/honorary-degrees/harrison.html
Olson, Krinstine & Kathryn Jones Harrison
Standing Tall, the Lifeway of Kathryn Jones Harrison, University of Washington Press, 2005
Proposed Name for Wildcat Elementary (formerly Wilson)
The proposed name for Wildcat Elementary is Letitia Carson Elementary. Letitia Carson was born in Kentucky around 1814, presumably into slavery. She died in 1888. Letitia Carson was an African-American woman and an Oregon pioneer at a time when Blacks were legally excluded from Oregon’s territory. She exercised the right to claim land as a woman and a Black person to build a heritage for her children. Her life is inspirational. She was unwilling to accept discrimination and exclusion and found the resources to fight her battle for civil rights, as a Black person.
More details about Letitia Carson can be found at the following links.
Nokes, Greg. The Oregon Encyclopedia, s.v. “Black Exclusion Laws in Oregon.”
Shine, Greg. “From Slave to Landowner: The Grit and Gumption of Letitia Carson,” U.S.
Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management Website, February 18, 2021.