The Mobile County school board honored former member Hazel Fournier on April 28, passing a resolution adding her name to one of Mobile’s longstanding schools.
Serving as a teacher, administrator and board member for 18 years, Fournier spent nearly five decades working with the Mobile County Public School System.
Board President Dr. Reginald Crenshaw, who took Fournier’s seat upon her retirement in 2008, introduced a motion to rename Elizabeth S. Chastang Middle School to the “Fournier Chastang Middle School.”
The members of the board and Superintendent Martha Peek unanimously accepted the motion.
The facility, which will serve students in grades K-8, will be constructed from the ground up at its current location, 2800 Berkley Ave. in Mobile.
It is estimated to cost the system around $14 million, but plans for its construction were approved long before adding Fournier’s name was considered by the board.
“Mrs. Fournier is a long-time public servant and has had a career dedicated to the students of the Mobile County Public School System,” Crenshaw said. “She was instrumental in the early years of integration and even helped to train teachers how to relate to students of different races.”
Fournier also worked diligently during her time in the central office to establish Mobile County’s six magnet schools.
She attended the meeting to accept the honor along with members of her family and fellow retired educators from the Mobile County system.
“No person gets this kind of honor without the help of a lot of other people,” Fournier said. “I’d like to thank the board for this honor, but I promise I will do everything I can to continue to support public education. I work for the children.”
According to Crenshaw, the land at the site of the new school has been surveyed and the board plans to move the school slightly closer to Interstate 65.
“Certainly it’s going to make a statement,” Peek said. “We want everyone to see this lovely school from the Interstate, and we want to make Mrs. Fournier proud.”