Oregon Supreme Court Justice Adrienne C. Nelson will attend this week's groundbreaking ceremony for the renovations that will transform Rock Creek Middle School into Adrienne C. Nelson High School.
Following a 5-2 school board decision May 9, the new North Clackamas School District high school will be named for Nelson, who is a resident of Happy Valley. She is the first African American to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court.
Funded by the 2016 capital construction bond, Nelson High School will open in August 2021 after the conversion of Rock Creek Middle School.
Raised in Arkansas, Nelson moved to Oregon in 1993. She served on the Multnomah County Circuit Court prior to being appointed to the Supreme Court last year. She won a contested election to a six-year term in November.
District officials described Nelson's professional and personal history as characterized by advocating for those who are marginalized, and inspiring people to strive for their best, no matter their circumstances or demographics. Some board members were concerned about naming the school after a living person, but in the end, they decided she could be more of an inspiration to students with ongoing activities and visits to the school.
North Clackamas Superintendent Matt Utterback and School Board Chair Steven Schroedl, both public supporters of naming the high school after Nelson, also will speak at the 1:30 p.m. groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, June 26, at 14897 S.E. Parklane Drive, in unincorporated Happy Valley.
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