It was good to see the Wichita school board answer some pressing questions last week of what to call certain new schools and a repurposed building in the district. In doing so, it newly honored Christa McAuliffe, the New Hampshire teacher killed in the 1986 explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger, by putting her name on the new K-8 school in southeast Wichita, and it continued to recognize civil rights pioneer Chester I. Lewis by renaming the former Northeast Magnet High School building after him (Lewis Elementary recently closed). And how great that a new southwest-side elementary will honor not some famous person or notable district administrator but a beloved teacher: James Enders, a longtime physical education and social studies teacher and coach who died in 2010. During a rough time in contract negotiations, that sends a good message about the value of outstanding teachers in the district and community. One complaint: The announcement and board approval of the new names happened all in one night, leaving no opportunity for public debate.
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