First Newark School to Be Named for a Hispanic Woman
[Newark, NJ, October 24, 2018] The Newark Board of Education has officially renamed North 10th Street School, Salomé Ureña School in honor of a Hispanic woman who is considered a trailblazer in Hispanic education. The renaming and ribbon cutting of the Salomé Ureña School took place on Friday, October 19, 2018. More than 100 students welcomed guests to the ribbon cutting in the auditorium. Superintendent Roger León was joined by Newark Board of Education Chair Josephine C. Garcia, Board members Reginald Bledsoe, Asia Norton, Yambeli Gomez and Flohisha Johnson , and Councilman Anibal Ramos.
Superintendent of Newark Schools Roger León said in speaking to the students, “There is nothing more important than your name. Starting today, we begin to say the name of a great woman who changed the course of education for Hispanics in the Dominican Republic. Every day when you walk through the front door of this school, remember Salomé Ureña.”
Principal Sandra Marques said, “We honor her (Salomé Ureña) for her vision, ‘Sparkle & Shine Because It’s Teaching and Learning Time,” referring to the school’s new motto.
As part of the program, 3rd grade student Yamilex Ramos read the poem, “El Ave Y el Nido” to the audience, as part of the tribute and to celebrate the birthday of Salomé Ureña, which was the same day as the renaming.
Board of Education Chair Garcia said, “As a proud mother of three Dominican young men, this tribute is perfect as we see more women taking the helm of organizations and businesses.” Chairwoman Garcia spoke about the changes women of all races, colors and creeds are making across the world and here in the United States. She said it was such an honor for Newark to name its first school after a woman. She said, “It’s a proud moment for all women, for all Hispanics, for Newark.”
Salomé Ureña was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on October 21, 1850. She was the daughter of writer Nicolas Ureña de Mendoza and Gregoria Dias de Leon. She was influenced by literature and began publishing her first works at the age of 17. Around 1881, Salomé, with the help of her husband, opened the first center of higher education for young women in the Dominican Republic, which she did under the name of “Instituto de Senoritas.” Within five years, the first six female teachers were graduated from the Institute, something uncommon at the time.
Councilman Ramos said, “I take great pride in our schools – they are a model of service and engaging our parents in a positive way.” He continued, “Salomé Ureña founded higher education opportunities for girls. This is a historic day for our city to name a school after a great Hispanic.”
The Newark Board of Education introduced a resolution in 2017, introduced by then Board Member Ariagna Perello. Ms. Perello also attended the ribbon cutting.