OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — The Oak Ridge Board of Education approved the renaming of the Oak Ridge Preschool to The Oak Ridge Schools' Scarboro Preschool with a vote of 4 to 1.
BOE Chairman Keys Fillauer said the board also approved to designate rooms inside the building in honor of Scarboro "community heroes" Arizona Officer, George Walker, Fred Brown and Sallie McCaskill with a vote of 3 to 2.
The rooms include two wings of the building, the gym and the library.
“A diverse committee made these recommendations,” Fillauer said.
Arizona Officer was the beloved principal of the original Scarboro School. This was the school all Black students attended in Oak Ridge before the Oak Ridge 85 integrated Robertsville Junior High and Oak Ridge High School on Sept. 6, 1955.
The school's administrative wing and office will be named in her honor.
George Walker was a teacher at Scarboro School who joined the staff at Robertville Junior High in 1968. He served as a special guidance counselor for students during integration.
The school's gymnasium will be named in his honor.
Fred Brown was a beloved teacher at the Scarboro School, and the first Black teacher at Oak Ridge High School in 1955, joining his students during integration. In 1975, Brown joined the teaching staff at the University of Tennessee. Fred Brown Hall on UT’s campus is named in his honor.
The school's preschool wing will be named in his honor.
Sallie McCaskill was a life-long resident of Oak Ridge who worked to provide more educational opportunities for children and adults in the Scarboro community.
The school's preschool library will be named in her honor.
The preschool opened in July 2020, without an official ribbon-cutting ceremony due to COVID-19 concerns.
During an interview in October, Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch said this new state-of-the-art facility in the Scarboro community is a bright spot because Oak Ridge was the first public school system in the state to have a pre-K.
Fillauer said board members have not set a date for an official renaming ceremony yet.