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Celina commemorates former black school
Courtesy of Celina - A meeting for women was held at the George Washington Carver School sometime between 1948 and 1965 when the school was open. This photo is the only one the city of Celina has from the school.
Coinciding with start of Black History Month, the city of Celina commemorated the George Washington Carver School last Friday, Feb. 1, that once serviced the black students of Celina from 1948 to 1965.
At the commemoration, former students and teachers of the school spoke fondly of their memories at the school, which is no longer standing. In place of the schools stands a fenced-in empty field that will soon bear a plaque recognizing the school.
A committee for the commemoration plaque is currently seeking volunteers.
"We really want it to be from the community for the community," said David Gaines, assistant to the city manager.
Those interested in joining the committee can contact Gaines at email@example.com or stop at City Hall and ask for him.
Five years in the making, former council member Todd McCally became interested in the school that once stood in Celina. Wanting to do something to acknowledge the former school, McCally presented the idea to City Manager Mike Foreman and the City Council where he gained support.
Originally wanting to place an historic marker on the site, McCally and the city were forced to look into other options after learning it would take up to nine years to gain one. Instead, the city will put up their own plaque on the site to acknowledge the school.
"It's been a long time coming," McCally said.
Although one speaker, Delores Johnson, did not attend the school herself, she spoke of the importance of remembering the school.
"Even though the building is not here, the memories are here," Johnson said.
One former student, Leonard Wyatt who lives across from where it once stood, also spoke at the event about his times at the school. Sitting on his front porch, he knew he wanted to put something up at the site for children today to know where black education first started in Celina.
"It means a lot to me," Wyatt said.
Out of respect and remembrance, McCally said the next project the city will take on is to renovate the section of the city cemetery where black residents are buried.
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