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Originally published January 20, 2010 at 10:59 PM | Page modified January 20, 2010 at 10:59 PM

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Old John Hay school officially renamed Queen Anne Elementary

The Seattle School Board officially renamed the Old John Hay school Queen Anne Elementary on Wednesday night, shutting the door on the latest opportunity to name an education building after Caspar Wistar Sharples.

Seattle Times staff reporter

The Seattle School Board officially renamed the Old John Hay school Queen Anne Elementary on Wednesday night, shutting the door on the latest opportunity to name an education building after Caspar Wistar Sharples.

There was a school named for Sharples, a Seattle physician and School Board member who died in 1941, But in 1999, the board renamed that school for Aki Kurose, the late Seattle teacher and peace activist.

That year, the School Board promised to find a new way to honor Sharples "as soon as possible."

At their meeting Wednesday night, board members approved the Queen Anne Elementary name 6-0, two weeks after members of the Sharples family declined the board's offer to rename the Old John Hay building after Sharples.

Board member Betty Patu abstained after voicing concerns with how the process was handled.

It is unclear when the next opportunity to name or rename an education building will arise. School Board members indicated they will continue to search for a chance to name a building for Sharples.

The Old Hay school has been closed but is scheduled to reopen soon. It was named after former Secretary of State John Hay, and so is the "new" Hay Elementary a few blocks away.

Sharples' grandchildren on Jan. 4 declined to have the Old Hay building named for Sharples, citing a deadline to make their decision and the lack of a guarantee the district could remove the John Hay name from the building because of its historic landmark status.

Patu said she still felt "very bad about the Sharples family."

"I don't think we gave them a good option," she said.

Board President Michael DeBell disagreed.

"We made a very good good-faith effort in this case, so I'm a little disappointed that they didn't work with us," he said before the vote.

Brian Rosenthal: 206-464-3195 or brosenthal@seattletimes.com

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