Austin ISD announces nominees for new Lee Elementary School name

Robert E. Lee Elementary School Austin ISD has narrowed down its list of potential names for Robert E. Lee Elementary School. AISD trustees decided March 28 to rename the school because of Lee's history as a Confederate veteran.[/caption]

An Austin ISD advisory committee has narrowed down a list of nominations for the renaming of Robert E. Lee Elementary School to eight.

After considering hundreds of submitted names from the community, the advisory committee whittled down the list and will narrow it down further before a scheduled May 23 board of trustees vote. The school is located at 3308 Hampton Road, just north of The University of Texas campus.

On March 28, the board approved renaming the school because of its namesake's role in the Confederate Army. Some stakeholders said Lee did not represent the values of the community.

The nominees include the following:

  • Barbara Smith Conrad, an African-American opera performer who completed her studies at The University of Texas despite discrimination-based setbacks

  • Bettie Mann, a former Lee Elementary School teacher of more than 35 years and the first African-American educator at Lee Elementary School

  • Elisabet Ney, a sculptor and neighborhood resident who immigrated from Germany and is the subject of a local museum

  • Harper Lee, the American novelist who wrote “To Kill a Mockingbird"

  • Kenneth Ragsdale, a former AISD director of music and founder of the band program at Lee Elementary School

  • Russell Lee, a neighborhood resident, founding University of Texas photography professor and a Depression-era photographer

  • Waller Creek, geographic feature shared by neighborhoods in the Lee Elementary School school zone

  • Wheeler’s Grove, the original name of Eastwoods Park, a longtime Juneteenth celebration site and gathering space for a historic freedman’s community

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