Oklahoma City Schools adds Northeast Legacy Committee to help with reviving name in school

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Alumni and former employees of a historic high school will soon be able to play a role in preserving the legacy of the school.

Earlier this year, officials with the Oklahoma City Public School District announced their Pathway To Greatness plan. The plan aimed to save the district money by combining schools with lower enrollment numbers.

"One of the key things we kept in mind the whole time was to expand programs that were working really well in the district," Courtney Morton, director of communications for Oklahoma City Public Schools, said.

As a result, students from Classen School of Advanced Studies have moved into the 82-year-old building that was Northeast Academy. Critics and Northeast alumni began speaking out about the plan after learning that the school would now be named Classen SAS at Northeast.

Northeast High School alumni and board member Charles Henry fought back against the plan, suing some of the school board members for how the name change was handled during the board meeting discussions.

“It means a lot more than just the name. It's the basic spirit of the school,” Michael Dwaine-Parker, a Northeast graduate said in an earlier interview.

Now, the Oklahoma City Public School District is creating three legacy committees to bring the 'Northeast' name back to the historic building.

"What these committees will do is immortalize what actually happened at Northeast during the periods of 1937, when the school came into being, until it closed its doors,” Dr. Marsha Herron, executive director of equity and innovation, said.

One of the committees will rename the portion of N.E. 32nd St. that cuts through the school, as well as name the media center. Another committee will select a design for the front plaza.

“Classens SAS will have a location where we will be designing and curating an alumni room that will kind of tell the story of Northeast throughout its history,” Dr. Herron said.

Dr. Marsha Herron is a 1998 graduate herself and hopes past alumni, employees and even current students will get involved to continue the school's legacy.

"My pediatrician, I was in school with her. There are other doctors that I have used for my family, so we were pretty spectacular and Northeast gave that to us," Dr. Herron said.

To qualify, you must be an alumnus, employee of Northeast High School or Northeast Academy up to 2010, or be a current Classen SAS student who attended Northeast Academy starting in 2016.

For more information and to apply, click here.

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