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CKSD board delays official decision on renaming Brownsville Elementary

The Central Kitsap School board has delayed its decision on possibly renaming all or part of Brownville Elementary after John D. “Bud” Hawk, a wartime hero and former educator.

On Wednesday, the board listened to a presentation on why the school should only be partially named after Hawk, who taught at Brownsville and was a Medal of Honor recipient.

Hawk received the Medal of Honor for his efforts in World War II near Chambois, France in 1944 while serving as an Army sergeant. Hawk passed away on Nov. 4 last year.

Since his passing, a committee formed for the discussion of possibly renaming the school after the educator who retired in 1983.

Peggy Ellis, CKSD’s elementary director of teaching and learning, presented on behalf of the 16-member committee comprised of parents, staff and district officials. All members considered comments from the public, and a survey offered feedback from 557 individuals on the matter of the renaming.

“We definitely got a lot of responses,” she said. “They were very thoughtful comments and very passionate comments.”

Most were in favor of a partial renaming on the school, not a full one, Ellis said. After carefully reading comments that were submitted, along with the survey that was taken, the committee decided that renaming a portion of the school or a program after Hawk was the best compromise.

Superintendent Hazel Bauman asked the board to wait on making a decision. Mark Gaines, board president,  was absent and the board agreed it best to include him on a vote regarding the renaming.

“I think it’s a paradigm of multiple virtues. It’s a huge decision because rarely do we see a convergence of a person who is a medal of honor recipient and a longtime educator,” said Bauman. “Let’s leave it alone for awhile.”

Other locations that honor Hawk include: the memorial drive alongside Brownsville Elementary; John D “Bud” Hawk Education Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the John “Bud” Hawk post office on Bainbridge Island. The American Legion Post 109 is also in the process of being renamed John D. “Bud” Hawk American Legion Post 109.

The board expects to re-vist the issue at a later meeting, likely in March or April.

 

 

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