Emotions ran high at the June 28 Renton School Board meeting.
In an effort to honor former board president Albert Talley Sr. who died earlier this year, the school board voted to rename the Secondary Learning Center after him.
The vote was taken right after the swearing in of Superintendent Damien Pattenaude — a family member of Talley — and board member Avanti Bergquist, who will be taking over Talley’s vacant spot on the board.
Talley served as a board member for more than 16 years before he died March 29.
“l believed every child could succeed, and had an unwavering commitment to wanting 100 percent achievement for all students,” said Pam Teal, board member. “He would challenge administrators, teachers and students to be their very best and settle for no less. The Secondary Learning Center is a place where students have that second chance to achieve their goals. I am very pleased to know that his legacy will forever be connected to this building.”
Lynn Desmarais said, “Al was underwhelmed when we were presented with the naming choices for the SLC six years ago, given the striking appearance of the building. In hindsight, it feels like it was a building waiting for a proper name, one that reflects the essence of its mission.”
Bergquist, who was appointed to fill Talley’s District No. 2 seat starting July 1, is running unopposed for the position in the November general elections.
Secondary Learning Center, now Albert Talley Sr. High School, is the district’s non-traditional high-school program that was built on the site of Black River High School. The school serves nearly 400 middle and high school students.
The school was built due to the 2008 bond measure that included the construction of a new wing at Hazen High School, the Early Childhood Learning Center and other improvements throughout the district.