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Pasadena School Board Approves Resolution Renaming Washington Middle School to Octavia E. Butler Magnet

Published on Friday, February 25, 2022 | 5:50 am

Octavia Estelle Butler signing a copy of ‘Fledgling’ after speaking and answering questions from an audience during an Oct. 2005 promotional tour for the book. [Photo by Nikolas Coukouma / Used under Creative Commons license]
The Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education unanimously approved the resolution changing the name of Washington Steam Multilingual Academy to Octavia E. Butler Magnet.

Butler was born and raised in Pasadena and became a renowned science-fiction author. She was an alumna of Washington Steam Multilingual Academy, which in her day was called Washington Middle School.\

She was a recipient of highest honors in the field of science fiction writing, including multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards as well as the Macarthur Fellowship prize.

School principal Dr. Shannon Malone said community meetings were held before the District settled on renaming the school in honor of Butler.

“Whereas, Octavia E. Butler is a role model for our students as she exemplifies the qualities of a graduate of the Pasadena Unified School District as presented by the PUSD Graduate Profile; coming from a meager background, she persisted through struggling with a learning disability to a model of excellence, using skills such as creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, self-discipline, research, goal-setting, and resilience.”

“Now, therefore, be it resolved, that in appreciation toward Octavia E. Butler for her outstanding achievements in literary science-fiction and representing the qualities of a PUSD graduate that will inspire our youth and greater community, Washington Middle School shall be known henceforth as the Octavia E. Butler Magnet,” Resolution 2647 read.

“We are really glad to see that this is coming to life,” said board member Tina Wu Fredericks.

“I think this is fantastic,” PUSD board member Jennifer Hall Lee said. “It is really exciting to see her be honored this way.”

In 2019, Washington Steam Multilingual Academy renamed its library after Butler.

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