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Fairview elementary to be renamed after first black principal in Anchorage

With a unanimous vote back in September, he Anchorage School Board voted to rename Fairview Elementary School as Dr. Etheldra Davis Fairview Elementary School.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 9:02 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - To honor the legacy of the first Black principal in Anchorage schools, Fairview Elementary has a new name. With a unanimous vote back in September, he Anchorage School Board voted to rename Fairview Elementary School as Dr. Etheldra Davis Fairview Elementary School.

The Anchorage School District along invited the family of the late Dr. Davis to celebrate together at the name change ceremony on Wednesday night.

Dr. Etheldra Davis moved to Anchorage in 1958 and was the first Black teacher hired on contract with the district. She later became principal of Fairview Elementary in 1969, another first for a Black educator.

As the daughter of Dr. Davis, Andrea Davis-Antoine found herself overcome with emotions during the ceremony.

“Indescribable, like I don’t even have any words,” said Davis-Antoine. “Honored, blessed, just overwhelmed, everything, and humble, thankful.”

Andrea Davis-Antoine even attended Fairview Elementary during her mother’s time as principal.

“That was interesting. I had to definitely be good,” Davis-Antoine said. “I couldn’t be bad, because I was the example.”

Davis-Antoine said that in her time as a student, she never imagined her mothers name would be displayed on the school, which she felt was a fitting way to preserve the legacy of a woman who achieved so much as a pioneering educator in Anchorage.

“My best friend, just very strong, determined, pretty much never backed down,” Davis-Antoine said. “Just very strong, she had this strength. Her inner strength was phenomenal.”

During her time with the school district, Dr. Davis was said to be extremely committed to supporting the education of youth and young adults in the city. Dr. Davis taught at Government Hill, Willow Crest, Airport Heights, and Denali Elementary Schools. Sonya Hunte, the Executive Director for the Office of Equity at Anchorage School District, explains why Dr. Davis was chosen unanimously.

“She modeled education, she promoted education, she worked in education,” Hunte said. “As a result of her legacy and her hard work many of the people that you even see present today have been positively impacted.”

The date for the name change ceremony was chosen to coincide with Dr. Davis’ birthday.

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