Keep Nellie A. Thornton school name the same

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Nellie Arzelia Strong came to Mt Vernon with her mother, father and older sister Brenda at the age of 3.  She started and completed her education in Mt Vernon Public School District.  After graduating from Fisk University she came back to Mt Vernon and took on the role of elementary school teacher. A few years later she was placed in her role of principal at Washington elementary school.  She was the principal for 22 years and during that time she treated that charge as her greatest responsibility.  She ensured her student many of who were classified as either low income or at risk. But to her those were HER kids.  She made sure that all of her kids had meals (breakfast and lunch), school supplies, and never felt less than anyone else. She encouraged them all and even worked hard to see that her school became a performing arts magnet school. Every year her school with her included would put on performances that were Broadway worthy. Her students all went on various field trips that once again she fought hard to get outside donations to ensure each student had that opportunity to see and experience all that they could. She also made sure the parents were given opportunities to finish and further their education. At her school she had GED classes and even brought Mercy college in so those in the community could attend. This is just a small piece of her importance and what she means to the those living and from Mt Vernon NY. On a national level the organizations that she was a part of she was able to help guide, mentor and mold youth all around the country into being amazing productive citizens. After her untimely passing the school district in 1996 gave her one of the highest honors by renaming the school to Nellie A Thornton Performing Arts Magnet. Since that time it has moved on from being an elementary school to what now stands as Nellie A Thornton High School.

There are talks that the Nellie A Thornton High School located at 121 S 6th Ave, Mt Vernon, NY maybe getting a name change. At this time it is unclear if this is just the auditorium or the entire school. The Thornton family is looking for support as this challenges her legacy and all that she did for the people who called Mount Vernon NY their home.



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