School re-named for Ashley BryanWritten by Dick Broom Thursday, March 15, 2012
The Islesford school has been renamed for award-winning artist and author Ashley Bryan, a long-time resident of Little Cranberry Island. Melinda Rice
CRANBERRY ISLES — Children here no longer go to the Islesford School.
Voters at town meeting on Saturday overwhelmingly approved renaming it the Ashley Bryan Elementary School in honor of one of the town’s most accomplished and beloved residents.
Mr. Bryan is an artist, writer, poet, storyteller and scholar of African and African-American folklore. He is the former head of the art department at Dartmouth College.
Mr. Bryan has won numerous national awards including the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, six Coretta Scott King Author Honors and the Arbuthnot Prize, one of highest honors in children’s literature.
Born to Antiguan immigrants in New York in 1923, Mr. Bryan studied art at Cooper Union and philosophy at Columbia University, and he won a Fulbright Scholarship to study art in Europe.
Donna Isaacs, one of the two teachers at Ashley Bryan Elementary, calls Mr. Bryan a “living legend.” On top of his accomplishments in art and literature, she notes that he has distinguished himself as an educator and humanitarian.
“Above all, he is a friend to each of us,” she said. “He has been a resident of the Cranberry Isles for over 60 years, and he considers all of us his children.”