SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah, Dec. 6, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A new school under construction for the Granite School District has been named for Utah’s 15th and only female governor, Olene Walker.
Olene Walker Elementary, at 3745 S. 900 West, South Salt Lake, is expected to open for the fall of 2020.
The Granite School District board chose the name after seeking suggestions from parents, students and staff of Roosevelt Elementary, which the new school will replace.
“We are extremely excited to name our new neighborhood school after a female, former Governor Olene Walker,” said Granite board president Karyn Winder.
“She was a champion of public education so we feel it is very fitting to honor her name in this way.”
Walker (1930-2015) was sworn in on Nov. 5, 2003, and served through Jan. 3, 2005. She was Lt. Governor at the time then-governor Mike Leavitt left to take the position of United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, a job he held for four years. Walker completed Leavitt’s term.
In 2004, the Utah Republican Party elected not to place Walker on the ballot, a decision that stirred controversy, and Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) became Utah’s 16th governor.
Walker left office with an 87% approval rating, according to Wikipedia.
During her short term, Walker used her office to focus on education, among other causes. She created the Read with a Child Early Literacy Initiative, and she often visited classrooms to read with children.
For information and construction photos on the school named in Walker’s honor, click here.