An unveiling ceremony will be held later this month to celebrate the name change of the activities center at Wetumpka Elementary.
The school that is now Wetumpka Elementary used to be Doby High School, the county’s high school for black children. It was built in 1963 and named in remembrance of Welton Blanton Doby, a prominent black educator in the community who was revered as an advocate for the education of black children. The school existed from 1963 until 1969 when schools integrated.
At a September meeting, the Elmore County Board of Education voted to change the name of the elementary activities center to the W.B. Doby Activity Center.
A celebration ceremony will be held outside of the school at 11 a.m. Oct. 23. Seating will be appropriately spaced and attendees are asked to wear a face mask.
The event will include remarks from the school’s principal, GiGi Hankins, Wetumpka councilmember-elect Cheryl Tucker, school board member Wendell Saxon, the Rev. Robert Shuford and former Doby High School students.
Doby was the principal of Elmore County Training School from 1930 until his death in 1957. Doby, backed by a team of dedicated teachers, made it possible for the school to be among the first to be accredited by the Alabama State Department of Education. Doby was also the first president of the Elmore County Teacher’s Association.
Doby High School had only two principals, Robert A. Geeter from 1963 to 1967 and Theodore L. Jackson, Sr. from 1968 to 1969.
The school became Wetumpka Junior High School for a short period of time before becoming Wetumpka Elementary.
In 2015, the Alabama Historical Commission approved a historical marker for the site, and a committee raised $5,700 to purchase the marker that’s there now.