A new Williamson County school was officially named Amanda H. North Elementary this week.
The school, located on Wilkes Lane in Spring Hill, is named after a longtime, barrier-shattering educator who’s part of a family of local teachers.
The county school board unanimously voted for the name at its Feb. 21 meeting.
North, who died over a decade ago at age 98, taught school in the county for nearly 40 years.
North was the last female African American principal at all-Black Thompsons Station School, mentoring grades 1-8. She was also the last principal of Evergreen School until local public schools were forced to integrate in 1967.
More:New Spring Hill school name? Woman who defines diversity, education nominated.
What did Williamson County School Board say?
Multiple board members talked about being honored to approve the name with the North family in attendance.
“One of the things that hit me as part of Mrs. North’s story was that for a woman in the 40s to ascend to a leadership position speaks a lot, board member Eliot Mitchell said. “For a Black woman to ascend to a leadership position speaks to the intellect, the passion for education, the love for children.”
Fellow board member Drason Beasley said he was emotional about the vote.
“It’s one of the greatest honors that a person could obtain,” Beasley said.
And board member Dan Cash said a look around the meeting room — with multiple family members working in education watching the vote — was an indicator of North’s dedication.
North’s sisters and daughters were also public school educators. Her granddaughter, Quen Williams, is currently principal at Creekside Elementary in Franklin.
“Mrs. North represents a totally dedicated person. And, we have dedicated people from all races. She was a totally dedicated servant,” Cash said.
What did family say?
Williams said she was extremely elated about her grandmother being honored.
“Our family is beyond grateful that her contributions and impact on this community have been shared,” Williams said. “It is our hope that her love for education and students will continue to have a lasting impact on the students, families, teachers, and community members that will walk through the doors of Amanda H. North Elementary.”
Board Chair Angela Durham recommended at a naming committee meeting that the school have a plaque explaining North’s legacy.
Amanda H. North Elementary is scheduled to open for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year.
Another new school, Arrington Elementary, was also named by the board. Arrington is opening next school year on Cox Road.
More:Why the new Spring Hill school should be named after Amanda H. North | Opinion