AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Independent School District board of trustees voted Monday night to rename Sidney Lanier Early College High School after a former student and service member killed in action in Afghanistan.
Pending a background check and a criteria review, the board voted to rename the high school to Juan Navarro Early College High School.
Initially, district three trustee Ann Teich proposed to remove the first name of the Confederate soldier, Sidney Lanier, from the name of the school. That motion failed to pass, however, and Teich then proposed to rename the school after Navarro. The motion passed.
It was a decision Manuel Munoz, president of the Austin LULAC Council #22318, was not expecting.
"The main focus in all of this is looking toward honoring folks from the Austin community, folks that are often forgotten, folks that have gone and made the ultimate sacrifice," Munoz said.
Munoz told KVUE he and his organization had been fighting to rename the school after the Army sergeant since last year.
"Juan Navarro was a model student at Lanier High School. He was well-known by his friends," he said. "His hope was to come back and be a medical doctor once he received his training from the U.S. Army."
Navarro graduated from Lanier in 2007 and enrolled in the military in 2008. An IED killed Navarro in July 2012 while serving in Afghanistan.
This name change is a part of AISD's plan to rename a total of five schools with ties to people who served in -- or were a part of -- the Confederacy.