CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A new middle school in District 20 will be named in honor of two Lowcountry heroes.
The Charleston County School District (CCSD) Board of Trustees voted in favor of the Simmons Pinckney Middle School, after the late Philip Simmons, a well-known blacksmith, and the late Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the South Carolina State Senator who was killed in the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. church shooting.
Interim principal Nathan Nelson stated that both men were passionate about education and the opportunity for advancement for all children. "They were also passionate about removing the walls and barriers," Nelson said.
The school's name was a decision agreed upon by officials and community members as a representation of strength and unity within the community while commemorating two local heroes.
Nelson stated, "It is indeed an honor and privilege to be a part of such an historic moment in our city and in our school district. I solicit your support, commitment, and dedication in honoring two great men as we serve all scholars that walk through our doors by providing a great educational experience."
Philip Simmons has received multiple forms of recognition for his ironworking skills, including the National Heritage Fellowship, Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, South Carolina Hall of Fame, and The Order of the Palmetto.
His work can be found throughout Charleston and in the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of American History. For a map of his works, visit the Philip Simmons website: http://www.philipsimmons.us/works.htm
The Philip Simmons Museum House is located on 30 1/2 Blake Street in Charleston.
Rev. Clementa Pinckney dedicated his life to education and service to the community. He was ordained at the age of 18, and became the pastor of the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church.
He served as a South Carolina State Representative for two terms before winning the state senate seat. He represented five Lowcountry counties.
Classes begin at the middle school on Monday.