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CPS names school after Dr. O'dell Owens

Dr. O'dell Owens, who died in November at age 74, chaired WCET-TV's "Action Auction" for a record 12 consecutive years.
Courtesy WCET-TV
Dr. O'dell Owens served as Hamilton County Coroner, president of Cincinnati State College and Interact for Health, Cincinnati Health Department medical director, and chaired WCET-TV's "Action Auction" before his death in 2022.

Lighthouse School, a small school in Madisonville which serves students with disabilities has been renamed to honor the late Dr. O'dell Owens.

On Monday night, The Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education voted to name the school the Dr. O'dell Owens Center for Learning.

RELATED: Renowned local health leader Dr. O'dell Owens has died

Owens, who passed away in Nov. 2022 was a reproductive health doctor known for his community involvement and desire to make healthcare and education more accessible and equitable.

In his career, Owens was a renowned obstetrician, Hamilton County coroner, president of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, medical director at the Cincinnati Health Department, and CEO of Interact for Health, among other titles.

Dr. Owens' son Christopher Owens addressed the board following their unanimous voting to approve the renaming, saying his father cared deeply about Cincinnati students and would be proud to see a school named after him.

"He would be honored and probably shed a tear to know that a school is being honored in his name and as everyone's been saying we depend on this next generation to lead us into this nation and to thrive," Owens said.

RELATED: Dr. O'dell Owens honored with West End street naming

As a graduate of Woodward High School himself, Owens was an advocate for early childhood education and served for seven years as a chairperson of the Cincinnati Public Schools' Community Advisory Board. He was also the founding president of GRAD Cincinnati, an organization dedicated to helping students graduate from high school and pursue higher education.

While serving as president of Cincinnati State, the board says he dramatically increased the number of CPS students taking college-level courses at the school.

The name change will go into effect this fall.

Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.