History has a tendency to repeat itself.
More than 50 years ago, a group of community members met to dedicate a new school on Lee Street in Brunswick. A similar event took place on Thursday.
Burroughs-Molette Elementary School hosted a dedication ceremony Thursday in the new facility, which staff and students moved into in February.
“Fifty-four years ago, on a day much like this here at this original site, the superintendent, board members, staff members and parents assembled to dedicate a building in this African American neighborhood during the civil rights era to educate African American children,” said Morris Arrington, a longtime educator who gave the ceremony’s keynote address.
The building opened then as two schools — Viola Burroughs Elementary and Sarah Molette Junior High.
“The school was named in the honor of two remarkable, dedicated educators who were highly revered by this community and this school district,” Arrington said.
The ceremony Thursday was followed by an open house event that allowed community members to tour the state-of-the-art facility.
During the ceremony, portraits of Viola Burroughs and Sarah Molette were re-unveiled, and students and community members performed.
“What a monumental moment for Glynn County and a welcome reminder of the vital role these two extraordinary African American women played in developing progress in one of our most treasured schools,” said Virgil Cole, superintendent of Glynn County Schools. “I hope this new school will be a source of pride and hope for this community for many years.”
The school has gone through many transitions since its opening, Arrington said. It served for a short time as the county’s seventh-grade center before becoming an elementary school and adding FACES and Leaps and Bounds preschool programs.
“Regardless of the various transitions, this school is still standing,” Arrington said. “It is a testament to the spirit of perseverance.”
Burroughs-Molette Elementary has helped launch many community leaders who’ve made a lasting impact on the Golden Isles, just like the women for whom the school is named, Arrington said.
“Whether serving African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, one thing has always remained the same about Burroughs-Molette,” he said. “The students were always embraced by a caring, nurturing, loving staff that will always go beyond the call of duty.”
Throughout the many chapters of the school’s history, Arrington said, Burroughs-Molette Elementary has consistently been a place that loves its students.
“Here at this site, whether it was 1965 or 2019, the students who walk the halls of Burroughs-Molette have been nurtured, mentored, nourished, counseled, disciplined, inspired, educated and most of all loved by this staff.”
The new facility serves as a testament, he said, to the community’s continued support for these students.
“You can tell about a community, its people and its character, by where they build schools and the type of schools that they build,” he said.
The re-dedication ceremony turned the page on the next chapter in the school’s history, Arrington said.
“Let this new school forever serve as a beacon of hope for years to come,” he said.