Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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August 22, 2013

North Park panel named

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The committee charged with looking at the possible renaming of North Park Junior High School has been appointed.

At a meeting Wednesday, Lockport School Board members held their first official reading of the district’s new policy on naming or renaming buildings, plaques and memorials. Two official readings are needed before the board can adopt a policy.

The committee will include Board of Education Trustee Marietta Schrader, North Park Assistant Principal James Snyder, Julie Brounscheidel of the Parents Teachers Association, student Brianna Gelnett, community members David Knight, LaShonda McKenzie and former BOE member Allan Jack.

The next step will be to appoint a committee facilitator, Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley said. The facilitator will oversee things, but is a non-voting member of the committee.

“We put together a schedule and get things rolling,” Bradley said.

It’s expected the committee will take no longer than six months to complete its work and make a recommendation to the school board. The board would have to approve a new name with a two-thirds vote.

The idea of renaming the school came before the board about a year ago, when a group of residents made a request that North Park Junior High School be renamed in honor of Aaron A. Mossell, an African-American businessman who was instrumental in desegregating Lockport schools.

Most of Lockport’s buildings are named after an individual, save for the high school and North Park. North Park opened as an elementary school in 1940 on Passaic Avenue. It was a middle school until the district reorganized, moving all seventh- and eighth-graders to North Park and calling it a junior high school.

So far, the Mossell proposal is the only one before the committee.

• Board members also voted to accept a donation of dictionaries from the Elks Lodge #41 for each third-grade student in the district. According to state records, there were 364 kids in third grade during the 2011-12 school year, the most recent available data.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, or follow him on Twitter @JoeOlenick.

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