Fayette County names two newest elementary schools


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Fayette County Board of Education on Monday voted on names for the district’s two newest elementary schools. The school under construction at 2441 Huntly Place will be ‘Coventry Oak Elementary,’ and the school being built at 1150 Passage Mound Way will be ‘Garrett Morgan Elementary.’

Below is the letter from FCPS:

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Dear FCPS Families:

We’re excited to announce that the board voted this evening on names for our two newest elementary schools. The school under construction at 2441 Huntly Place will be Coventry Oak Elementary, and the one being built at 1150 Passage Mound Way will be Garrett Morgan Elementary.

Principals for each of the new schools led separate committees of parents, district staff, and community members who gathered suggestions online and in writing, researched nominations submitted and made a final recommendation for the board.

Under Fayette County school board policy, new schools must either be a name that is in use now and describes a geographical area of Lexington/Fayette County or the name of a prominent deceased person who has contributed to the history and/or progress of the Lexington/Fayette County area, such as a name that has been famous in the history of Lexington/Fayette County or the name of a prominent national figure.

Coventry Oak blends two important neighborhoods in northwest Lexington – Coventry and Oakwood. The school is being built inside Coventry subdivision, which is one of the newest neighborhoods it will serve. Students will also attend from the Oakwood area, off of Georgetown Road. When established in 1964, Oakwood became only the second community where African-American residents of Lexington could purchase a home.

“Hard work and education were very important to the community of Oakwood,” said Shamiah Ford, principal of the school being built off of Georgetown Road. She shared the following quote from a 2010 article on a reunion for former residents: “‘There was just no tolerance for not achieving.’ That perfectly captures the sentiment of my vision for Coventry Oak. I want this to be a school of opportunity that prepare young scholars for success.”

While Coventry Oaks meets the board requirement of geographical significance, Garrett Morgan is named for an individual of historical prominence.

“Our committee was looking for a name that would capture the mission and vision for the school, which is to establish a foundation for innovative learning for all students,” said Sarah Woodford, principal of the school being built east of I-75 off Polo Club Boulevard in the Hamburg area.

Garrett Morgan, the son of former slaves, was a Kentucky native born in 1877 in Paris. He created and patented several inventions, including an early model respirator credited for saving the lives of rescuers during a bridge collapse in Ohio. His most notable invention is still in use today: the current model of the traffic light, which incorporates a yellow warning signal.

“Garrett Morgan not only represents our great state as a scientist, but will also inspire our school community to embody and reflect his creativity, diligence and inventiveness,” Woodford said.

The process was similar in naming both schools. Each committee received more than 200 name suggestions, narrowed the list to six top contenders, researched the finalists and reached consensus on a recommendation.

Members of the committee for Coventry Oaks included Shevawn Akers, Schuronda Morton, Chris Phillips, Edwina Smith, and Roanette Wilder. Members of the committee for Garrett Morgan included Karen Billings, Christopher Dotson, Alex McConnell, Jimmy Meadows, Schuronda Morton, John Price, and Kimberly Ross-Brown.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.