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A vote for Christa McAuliffe

Dear Editor:
For those of us who opposed the renaming of East Middle School, perhaps we should count our blessings. We should be grateful the school board renamed East after Dr. Wendy Doty instead of the other names they were considering: Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Tokyo Rose, Lizzie Borden and John Wilkes Booth.
We should also thank the board for teaching us a valuable lesson: that school names do not belong to students or the community; they belong to whatever school board crony or bigwig bureaucrat is retiring.
Since the board does not solicit school names from Downey residents, I wish to publicly submit my personal nomination for the next time they do this. I nominate Christa McAuliffe – a classroom teacher from Concord, New Hampshire, one of seven crew members who perished in the space shuttle Challenger disaster.
She was part of the NASA Teacher in Space project and scheduled to teach two lessons from the shuttle. On Jan. 28, 1986, America watched as Challenger lifted off before exploding 73 seconds after launch.
It would have been quite an honor for Downey students to carry Christa’s name for their school. They would have been honoring an educator while also paying homage to Downey’s role in the space race.
But alas, in the case of East, the board never asked for citizen input so we will be stuck with Doty.
John Marinelli
Downey

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Published: May 9, 2013 – Volume 12 – Issue 04



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