This past Monday, June 29, the Montgomery County Board of Education voted to expedite the process of renaming Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School. A decision will be made by November 10, 2020.
In addition, Board members proposed three options for possible namesakes:
1. Josiah Henson, an abolitionist who grew up enslaved in Montgomery County before escaping to freedom in Canada.
2. Katherine Johnson, a mathematician and NASA scientist.
3. Odessa Shannon, the first Black woman elected to the County Board of Education.
Recommendations from the community will also be accepted. The finalized name will be put into effect in 2021, on the birthdate of the chosen individual.
Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School is named after a prominent politician who served in the Maryland government from 1923-1930. His land use and zoning laws prevented Black Americans in Montgomery County from buying or renting real estate.
Considerations to rename the Silver Spring middle school began back in February 2019, when Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro proposed the idea in a letter to the Board.
By Nyrene Monforte