As the School Board prepares to name four schools, the National Council of Negro Women wants to keep one name in the running: former Hillsborough teacher Hilda Turner.
"Mrs. Turner was a true educator, a true professional," Lucille Morris, representing the group, told the board Tuesday. "She made the ultimate sacrifice at that time."
In the 1940s, Turner was a plaintiff in a lawsuit to equalize the pay of black and white teachers in Hillsborough County. Represented by NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall, she won the battle but soon after lost her job.
She moved to Chicago to teach, and returned to Tampa in retirement. She died in 1999.
"We owe Hilda Turner, especially we white people owe Hilda Turner," said local historian and political activist Doris Weatherford, joining in support. "I would like to see it be in a white area."
The board is scheduled to name three elementary schools and one middle school in October. Nominations for the names were due Friday.