Groundbreaking ceremonies for Stanton Middle School, the 143,000-square-foot building approved by voters last fall as part of a 4.62-mill bond issue, will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday at the school's future site behind Theodore Roosevelt High School on Roosevelt Drive.
Board member Emilio Ferrara proposed the school be named for Stanton, who was superintendent from 1962 to 1977.
"It was through his vision and leadership that Roosevelt High School was constructed (in 1959)," Ferrara said. "He also was one of the co-founders of the Six District Educational Compact.
"He had a great vision of the growth of public education and of the Kent schools," said Ferrara, who was a Roosevelt student when Stanton was the principal.
Stanton served as head of Roosevelt from 1952 to 1958, when it was located in what is now Davey Middle School. He then became Kent's assistant superintendent for four years before becoming superintendent in 1962.
When the new middle school opens in 1999, Davey will retain its name and become an elementary school. Central Elementary School will close and be used for training programs and as a storage and resource center.
"We want everyone to know that the Davey name should stay with such a historical school," Ferrara said of the 75-year-old building that exists on property donated by the Davey family. "It will become a neighborhood school."
Fourth-graders from Kent's elementary schools _ the first sixth-graders to be in the new building _ will be involved in Sunday's program, which also will feature remarks from Stanton and several of the board members, said Superintendent Marc Crail.
Stanton, who lives in Kent with his wife, Helen, said he is honored to have the school named for him.
"I was surprised, humbled and highly honored," he said. "My years as Kent superintendent were the highlight of my career."
Stanton has remained active in the Kent schools and community. He is a member of the Kent Free Library Board, and serves on the board of directors of the Kent State University Orchestra Society and Hope Homes. He also is a member of the Kent Presbyterian Church, and served as superintendent of schools in Michigan for five years before returning to Kent in 1983.
He also was an interim superintendent in Cuyahoga Falls and taught at
KSU and Youngstown State University.