New elementary school in Clark County to be named after late educator

February 20, 2013|By Casey Castle

Clark County’s newest elementary school has a name.

The school being constructed on Mt. Sterling Road will be called the Willis H. Justice Elementary School when it opens its doors in the fall.

The name was chosen by popular vote on a survey on the district’s website and the Clark County Board of Education approved the name at its regular meeting Tuesday.

The name was a landslide winner in the poll, garnering 812 votes, while the second-place vote-getter, Veterans Memorial Elementary School, had just 272 votes.


Justice was a teacher in the Clark County school system and a principal at Pilot View, Trapp Elementary, Hannah McClure and Central elementary schools. He was also superintendent from 1979 to 1984.

“I may be a little bit biased, but I think he did an excellent job as superintendent,” his son, Steve Justice, said. “He really changed things around and did a great job helping sustain a wonderful education system here in Clark County.”

Steve Justice and his sons, Will and Lee, led an effort to get the school named after Justice. Their suggestion won out despite not being one of the original three names on the poll and voters having to write-in for Justice.

“He was in the community for a number of years and worked with the schools for 32 years and in education for 41 years,” Steve said. “I’m elated. It’s great for the community and the board to honor him with the name. I think we should do of that for our educators.”

Justice began his teaching career in 1952 at Pilot View where he served as principal, teacher, basketball coach and secretary for six years.

Justice’s name was also selected in the poll as the name of the new middle school, which would have been created when Clark Middle School and Conkwright Middle School combined in the old George Rogers Clark High School building, but that merger has been put on hold, the school board voted Tuesday.

When Conkwright students move into the old building in the fall, the school may still be called Conkwright, but a decision on the final name has been tabled until the Kentucky Board of Education can be consulted.

In other business, the board also:

— approved the selection of Mike Oder from the Kentucky School Boards Association as a consultant in the process of selecting a new superintendent to replace Elaine Farris, who plans to retire in the summer.

— scheduled a special meeting for March 5.

— approved a fundraiser at Strode Station Elementary School.

Contact Casey Castle at

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