Col. E. Brooke Middle School to be Renamed Odessa Shannon Middle School
The Montgomery County Board of Education has voted to rename Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School to Odessa Shannon Middle School.
The Board had originally voted to change the middle school’s name on June 29, 2020. The two other names proposed by the Board were Katherine Johnson and Josiah Henson.
Ultimately, Board members voted unanimously to rename the school after Odessa Shannon. As the first African-American Board of Education member and a lifelong activist, Shannon worked tirelessly to help close the achievement gap for minority families. She was the recipient of numerous awards, such as the Human Rights Hall of Fame, the African American Living Legend Award, and Hornbook Award for Outstanding Service to Education.
Shannon’s name will replace Col. E Brooke Lee, a Maryland politician whose policies shaped Montgomery County’s zoning and land use in the 1920s. These laws barred African-Americans from living in Silver Spring, with the exception as domestic servants. It wasn’t until 1968 that Montgomery County enacted fair housing policies.
The new name Odessa Shannon Middle School is expected to take effect on Shannon’s birthday next year.