Some former students are pushing to rename Lee’s Summit Elementary School for a longtime principal there.
The school would be Lee’s Summit Harriett Ott Elementary School. Ott may have been the first female principal in the Lee’s Summit School District.
A small plaque in the school is the only known commemorative, said Bob Richardson, who is leading the effort.
A retired broadcast journalist now living in Tucson, Richardson attended the 1964 class reunion this summer for Lee’s Summit High School. It was after a tour of Lee’s Summit Elementary that the idea sprang to honor Ott.
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“It took me years to realize this, but having a female as an authority figure that early in life outside the home was pretty darn unusual,” Richardson said. “This was the 1950s. Men dominated everything, and that’s the way it was. Looking back on it, I really think that impacted my life as well of several of my classmates.”
District Superinendent David McGehee said he would hesitate to rename the school that bears the name of the district, but he said it’s possible the grounds could be named after Ott.
“At times we’ve named campuses after important people that have had some influence on a particular school or school area,” McGehee said.
Richardson’s group is trying find people who were students or teachers during Ott’s tenure from 1950 to 1974. The hope is that they will contact the district and register their support for the new name.
A Facebook page, www.facebook.com/honorharriettott, has also been created.
Meeting for parents
The Lee's Summit School District will hold an informational meeting Sept. 18 for parents who home school their children or who enroll their children in private/parochial schools.
Its purpose is to provide information on how they may access special education services if needed.
This meeting will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Loyalty Conference Room at the Stansberry Leadership Center, 301 N.E. Tudor Road, Lee's Summit.