Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Students celebrated a special visit from their school’s namesake this week as a painting of Marvin E. Pratt was installed to inspire future generations. The portrait will hang near the school entrance so all students can view it often and understand the legacy of the man for whom their school was named.
Marvin E. Pratt Elementary School is the former Silver Spring Elementary School. The name change was approved by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors in 2015 and took effect in 2016.
Marvin Pratt graduated from MPS North Division High School, served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, and earned a degree in political science from Marquette University. His career began in the office of former Milwaukee Mayor Henry Maier. He served as alderman, acting mayor, and county executive. He was the first African-American mayor of Milwaukee and is the only person to hold both the offices of mayor and county executive.
The portrait will provide opportunities for students to understand Pratt’s career, service to the community, and achievements. In naming the school after him, Pratt serves as a role model to students who hear his name daily. The painting was commissioned by MKE Fellows as a gift to Pratt, who offered to place the painting in the school that bears his name.
“This portrait will be meaningful to our students,” said Janice Carter, principal. “Too often, the name of a school is just a lot of letters on a sign. The portrait will show students that Mr. Pratt was a real person who accomplished much, and will inspire them to ask questions and learn about his world.”