Board to Vote on New Name for Austell Intermediate
A committee has narrowed the options down to three, two of which honor local educators George Hendricks and Sollie Cole.
Assistant Superintendent Robert Benson will prepare an agenda item for the Board of Education, incorporating the committee's three top choices.
The committee's first choice will be presented as the Superintendent Michael Hinojosa's recommendation. The board will either accept one of the committee’s three names, or vote on and approve another name.
First three choices:
- First Choice: Hendricks Elementary School (named after George Hendricks)
- Second Choice: Seven Springs Elementary School
- Third Choice: Cole Elementary School (named after Sollie C. Cole)
Other names considered by the committee:
- Meadows Elementary School
- Meadow Springs Elementary School
- Salt Springs Elementary School
- Springville Elementary School
- Sweetwater Elementary School
- Sweetwater Creek Elementary School
Behind the Names:
Sollie Cole, who died at age 90, served as chair of the Cobb County Board of Education in the mid-1960s. He and his wife, Floy “Jackie,” lived in Austell for 40 years and sent their children to South Cobb schools. An article on Cole is attached.
After he graduated from University of Georgia, he went to work for the family business, Cole Brothers Dairy, which sold milk to Cobb schools and was located at the present site of Six Flags Over Georgia.
Cole also cast one of the deciding votes to allow children, regardless of race, to attend their neighborhood schools, essentially integrating them amid threats of burning the schools if they were no longer segregated by race.
He was a director and vice president at South Cobb Bank, a trustee at Riverside School and president of the South Cobb High school board. He was known for his 30 years as the volunteer musical director at Austell’s Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, where they even held a Sollie Cole Appreciation Day.
George Hendricks was educated in public schools of Bulloch and Candler counties. He earned a bachelor’s from the University of Georgia and a doctorate in history from Columbia University.
After earning a Purple Heart during World War II, he returned to teach at Georgia Tech.
He married his wife, Elizabeth, in 1945. She taught at Powder Springs Elementary and Milford Elementary after earning degrees from London University and Columbia University.
In the early 1980s, she was named as a Cobb County Teacher of the Year. The couple and their family bought and maintained a farm on Meadows Road for 50 years until 1999.
George wrote the Georgia article for the Encyclopedia Britannica. He participated in the Civil Rights Movement, marching in the funeral procession for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other protests with his young son.
Which name do you prefer? Vote in the poll below and tell us about your choice in the comments below.