When it came time for the city of Harlem to name its new Head Start/Community Connections building, it didn't have to look far to find an honoree.
And it couldn't have found a better one.
At age 95, Mary Sanders is an education icon. She'd be the last to admit it, but she's the person closest in stature to the late John Pierce Blanchard, the county's legendary superintendent.
Columbia County has nearly doubled in population since Blanchard's retirement in 1981, so the number of people in the county who remember the days of segregated schools are dwindling.
Sanders certainly remembers, because she helped Blanchard put an end to them. Always working to provide the best education to children despite the circumstances of the time, Sanders was one of Blanchard's trusted allies who helped lead the school system into the modern era.
She even served a singled term on the school board after her historic election in 1992, becoming to date the only black person to serve in elective office in Columbia County since reconstruction.
Harlem's new building will help lift up children, something Sanders has done all her blessedly long life. Hopefully, the sight of her name on that building will encourage others to do likewise.
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