The Salt Lake City school system will change the name of its Andrew Jackson Elementary School to honor Mary Jackson, NASA’s first black female engineer.
Mary Jackson’s story is among those depicted in the book “Hidden Figures,” which focused on the lives of black women who worked as mathematicians and engineers for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration during the Space Race. A film adaptation of the book was released in 2016. Jackson also worked as a math teacher in an all-black school in Calvery County, Md., before rising through the ranks at NASA.
Jackson Elementary opened in the 1890s as a one-room schoolhouse. When the change occurs, the 550-student school may also be the first Utah K-12 school named for a woman, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
The school, which has an English-Spanish dual-language-immersion program, has a note on its website that reads, “Our students represent the diversity of America.”
Andrew Jackson, who served as the seventh president of the United States from 1829 to 1837, was a slave-trader. Abolitionist Harriet Tubman is eventually slated to replace Jackson on the front of the $20 bill.
Photo Credit: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.