Sharples School May Be Renamed After Aki Kurose
Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Aki Kurose, the late Seattle schoolteacher who received numerous awards for her teaching and her social activism, is about to receive even greater recognition.
The School Board is expected tomorrow to authorize Sharples School to change its name to Aki Kurose School. It will be the first Seattle public school named after a teacher.
Kurose, who received her Garfield High School diploma on her way to an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II, died at 73 last year, less than a year after she retired from teaching.
As a teacher at Laurelhurst Elementary School and at what is now Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, she is remembered for taking children into her home, feeding them and giving them clothes if they were in need.
A Quaker, civil-rights activist and peace activist, she raised several foster children in addition to her own six children.
An award winner both for her teaching and her peace activism, Kurose never entirely separated those two parts of her life. Visiting President Bush in the Rose Garden after she won the presidential award for science teaching, she showed him the peace button on her lapel and suggested that money be shifted from bombers to public schools.
She often said that without justice there can be no peace.
Renaming Sharples is part of a shuffling of school programs and names in the South End. South Shore Middle School moved to the Sharples building this fall, and the Sharples alternative school
moved to the South Shore building.
The school's current eponym, Caspar W. Sharples, was a physician and was a School Board member from 1922 to 1931. Advocates of the name change said they were unable to locate any descendants of Sharples.
Published Correction Date: 11/09/99 - Catherine Blaine Elementary School Is Named After Seattle's First Schoolteacher. This Article Incorrectly Stated That Aki Kurose Middle School Academy Would Be The First Seattle School Named After A Teacher.
Copyright (c) 1999 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.