Members of the Mattison family gathered with school and district leaders Tuesday to celebrate the official renaming of Florence Mattison Elementary School to include the name of her husband, Preston Mattison.
Florence Mattison Elementary School was opened in 1981 and named after Florence Mattison, a long-time and well-loved educator in the Conway Public School District.
Her husband, Preston Mattison, was also a valued educator in our district. He was born in 1893. In 1923, Mr. Mattison was named the Principal of Pine Street School, where he served until 1947. The school initially served African-American students in grades 1 through 8.
He also played an active role in the affairs of the wider community. During his tenure, he was instrumental in convincing the school board of the need for a high school building to be constructed to serve African-American students at Pine Street.
Last May, the Conway Schools’ Board of Education unanimously approved a proclamation renaming Florence Mattison Elementary School as “Preston and Florence Mattison Elementary School.”
“I am proud of our community and our district for taking this important step in recognizing Preston Mattison’s contribution to education in our community,” says Andre’ Acklin, Conway School Board President. “Even on a personal note, I was able to know the Mattison family while growing up, and they were a tremendous blessing to my family.”
The ceremony included personal remarks from Berthenia Gill and Carla Coleman, both relatives of the Mattisons. They spoke fondly of their “Uncle Preston and Aunt Florence,” both of whom were powerful forces in advancing education, yet tenderhearted toward family, which included anyone and everyone they came to know.
Third and fourth grade students attended the renaming ceremony, which ended with a musical performance by the third grade choir entitled “Agents of Change.”
“We want our students to understand who our school is named after and why they were important.” says Gary Logan, Principal of Preston and Florence Mattison Elementary School. “We want our kids to be able to identify with these community leaders and role models and learn from the strong examples they set.”
Conway Public Schools News
To submit items for our news feed, e-mail ideas and information here.