Williamson community pushing to name new school after county's first Black principal

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Posted at 5:21 PM, Feb 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-09 20:34:26-05

SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Williamson County School Board is just weeks away from naming two of its new elementary schools.

The one in Spring Hill is where many parents are hoping it's named after an educator who started teaching in the 1930s in a segregated all-Black school in Thompson's Station.

Dorothy Jackson speaks with pride when she talks about her mother Amanda Hughes North.

Like her mother, she was also a Williamson County teacher for more than 40 years.

"My mother, as an educator, she wanted to make sure that everybody had an opportunity to progress, and she's sought it."

North began teaching in the 1930s in a one-room school at Southall known as Boxley Valley School.

She later became principal of Thompson's Station Elementary School for Black students grades first through eighth.

North ended her career at Evergreen Elementary School, a first through eighth-grade school after Thompson's Station closed.

She passed away 10 years ago, but her love for teaching is far from over as the community rallies to get a new school in Spring Hill named in her honor.

North's granddaughter, who is also a teacher, can't believe the community's kindness.

"For us to think that 'Oh man, this school has the possibility to be named after her.' It's huge to us. And it's a testament to what she did every day for us that other people will now see that received that as well," said Takako Price.

Candice Colson is part of a push to get the Williamson County School board to name the new school after North.

"I can’t think of anything more inspiring than to walk my two little girls into Amanda H. North elementary school next year."

Colson, a former teacher, has contacted board members asking them to consider North as the name for the school on Wilkes Lane.

She's asking others to do the same.

"To have this honor within our district, I'm getting chills," Colson said.

North even has support from the Williamson County historian.

"Mrs. North is certainly due this honor," said Rick Warwick, a retired teacher and the Williamson County Historian

Williamson County Schools says the names for both schools will be presented to the school board at its work session next Thursday evening, and then the board is scheduled to vote at its regular meeting the following Monday.

The board has not been given the names yet. They should receive their packet, and it will be posted at the end of this week.

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