February 18, 2020
The GECDSB Board of Trustees has selected James L. Dunn Public School as the name for the new school on Mercer Street which will replace Giles Campus FIPS.
James Llewellyn Dunn is a significant figure in Windsor’s
In 1883 he fought, unsuccessfully, to have his daughter
enrolled at an all-white school, citing that the school for black children was
under-funded and did not provide his child with an adequate education.
After his failure in court, however, Dunn worked to improve
the system from within, first earning a seat as a Trustee with the Windsor
Board of Education and then being elected as the city’s first black alderman.
But James Dunn’s accomplishments were not limited to
politics and an interest in education. He and his brother Robert bought the
company where he worked in the 1860s, renamed it Dunn’s Paint and Varnish,
developed new processes and operated in the community for many years.
James L. Dunn Public School would be a reflection of not
just determination, community service and a concern for education but the
city’s manufacturing history so well represented by the preservation of the
former manufacturing building.