Most know Alan Page as an NFL Hall of Famer and retired Minnesota Supreme Court justice. But to students in the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District, he also is a visitor who reads children's books.
The books are those he co-wrote, and in recognition of Page's contributions to literacy and a scholarship fund he created, the district is naming a new school after him.
Justice Alan Page Elementary, now under construction on the site of Maplewood Middle School, opens in September 2022. The name is decidedly snazzier than the runner-up: Maplewood Elementary.
"Justice Page has been a friend to District 622 and a supporter to many of our alumni and staff of color in their pursuit of higher education," Superintendent Christine Tucci Osorio said in a news release. "His legacy will have a positive impact on our school community for generations to come."
The new school is the second to be named after Page.
Three years ago, students at what was Ramsey Middle School in southwest Minneapolis waged a successful campaign to have it renamed because its namesake, Alexander Ramsey, the state's first territorial governor, called for the extermination of the Sioux Indian tribe, now known as the Dakota.
A year later, Page visited the school, now known as Justice Page Middle School, wearing the Presidential Medal of Freedom he had received days earlier in a White House ceremony.
Josh Anderson, a spokesman for the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale district, said Friday the school system has been home to "Page Scholars," students of color who have received higher-education grants from the Page Education Foundation. The foundation also provides middle-schoolers with leadership opportunities as they prepare for high school.
At an Oct. 27 school board meeting, Tucci Osorio made special mention of three children's picture books that Page had written with his daughter Kamie: "Grandpa Alan's Sugar Shack," "The Invisible You" and "Alan and his Perfectly Pointy Impossibly Perpendicular Pinky."
The new school is part of a districtwide facilities overhaul made possible by a $275 million bond vote a year ago. The facilities plan also calls for a new elementary school in Oakdale.