Union City school named for Colin Powell to honor him after his death

An elementary school named for former Secretary of State Colin Powell is honoring him after he died from COVID-19-related complications.

News 12 Staff

Oct 19, 2021, 1:25 AM

Updated 908 days ago

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An elementary school named for former Secretary of State Colin Powell is honoring him after he died from COVID-19-related complications.
It was a somber day at Union City’s Colin Powell School once the students and staff learned of his death. The flag at the school was lowered in his honor and memory. They are determined to keep the school as a testament to Powell and all that he achieved.
“I hope they see he was a good man to look up to,” says fifth grader Raquel Canto-Venegas.
Canto-Venegas was a baby when Powell visited the school several years ago, but she still considers him a role model.
“He was a role model to me because he was hard-working and became successful because he was hard-working,” she says.
The school opened in 2012. The city and Board of Education chose to name it after the general because of the attributes they say characterized him – duty, honor and service.
“We always say the school is named after a hero, a general, a servant of our country. With hard work and dedication, anything is possible,” says Principal Teresita Diaz.
Powell visited the school in 2013. Diaz says that she will never forget the time he took and the attention he paid to the children.
“When he stepped in, he said, ‘You know I’m only here for 20 minutes, right? And I’ll be a part of your beautiful assembly.’ And he stayed over two hours and he visited every single class,” Diaz says.
The school held a moment of silence to honor Powell. The students were hoping to invite him for a celebration next spring for the school’s 10th anniversary.
Diaz says that the students are now working on a project to send to Powell’s widow as a way to send their condolences.


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