USD 383 hires Oliver Brown Elementary principal

AJ Dome, The Manhattan Mercury, Kan.
·2 min read

Feb. 18—The Manhattan-Ogden school district has hired a principal for its newest elementary school.

Erin Lopez, current Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) coordinator for the district, will lead Oliver Brown Elementary when the school opens its doors in August. During the USD 383 school board meeting Wednesday, superintendent Marvin Wade said the hiring committee was impressed with "her vision and enthusiasm."

Lopez currently works at both Woodrow Wilson and Bluemont elementary schools. In her MTSS coordinator position, she works to implement practices to meet the learning needs of all students. Prior to that, she worked as an instructional coach at Seitz Elementary School at Fort Riley. She began her career in 2012 as a 5th-grade teacher at Seitz Elementary.

In a written statement, Lopez said she is honored to serve her community as the first principal for Oliver Brown.

"I will work tirelessly to create an inclusive, equitable, and academically rigorous school that honors the Brown legacy through the actions of its students and staff," Lopez said.

Lopez is a Kansas State University graduate, with a master's degree in educational leadership and a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She is also a graduate of the Professional Educational Leadership Academy and has an endorsement from Fort Hays State University in building leadership and administration.

"Ms. Lopez is a respected educational leader who has already demonstrated consistent dedication to the students, staff, and families of USD 383," Wade said in a written statement. "With help from others within USD 383, Principal Lopez will soon begin the hectic but exciting process of preparing Oliver Brown Elementary for the start of the 2021-2022 school year."

Oliver Brown Elementary is named after the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education. Oliver Brown challenged the struggles of his daughter, who was subject to substandard conditions and education in a segregated school. In May 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled racial segregation in public schools as unconstitutional.