A local middle school officially has a new name now. Kirksville Middle School has been renamed William Matthew Middle School.
It is a tribute to a life long Kirksville educator, one who had a major impact on the district.
â??You know Bill, you were first my principal, and then my superintendent and now, you're my friend,â?? said Jeanie Coy a former colleague of William Matthew.
Family, friends and colleagues gathered on Tuesday afternoon to honor a man who dedicated much of his life to education.
â??Bill is a man of integrity, honesty as well as an advocate for excellence in education. His leadership brought us through some difficult times,â?? Coy said.
Matthew was a 1945 graduate of Kirksville High School, served as Kirksville Middle School principal and as Kirksville R-III superintendent. During that time he completed the expansion of the technical center and the construction of Kirksville Middle School.
"I don't know of another school district that has a public school campus that compares to ours,â?? William Matthew said.
The building that he worked so hard to make sure came to fruition is now named after him.
â??He is the individual who saw from the beginning to it's conclusion the dream of this building, the financing of the building and the building of it,â?? said former colleague Rebecca Osborn. "He devoted his professional life in Kirksville to the betterment of our community and education."
His colleagues said no one deserves this more than him and he said he is proud to be honored in this way.
During his speech, Matthew thanked his wife of 63 years, Shirley Matthew, as well as Mary Magruder, who's been the secretary for several superintendents in the Kirksville School District.