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Philip Doty stands in front of the Fairfield-Suisun Public Safety Academy in Fairfield, Friday. Doty, a retired teacher, wants to make sure the people schools are named after are not forgotten. The Fairfield-Suisun Public Safety Academy used to be called the Amy Blanc School. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)


Man seeks to preserve Fairfield’s past, name by name

By From page A3 | February 22, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Today’s Solano Town Center mall was the site of a school, the Fairfield-Suisun Public Safety Academy was home to Amy Blanc Elementary School and the doors at Mary Bird School were open.

Fairfield resident Philip Doty, who taught for 20 years in the Fairfield-Suisun School District, is stepping along memory lane – and wants to make sure as much of that street as possible is preserved, including the names of schools.

Blanc and Bird shouldn’t be forgotten, said Doty, 76, who wants schools like the safety academy to note their former names with a sign.

Without such acknowledgement, he said, the people for whom the schools were named and Fairfield’s past will be forgotten.

“Little by little,” Doty said, “that bit of history will get lost.”

Doty, who spoke earlier this month to Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees about his concerns, said board president David Isom called after the meeting.

“It certainly sounds like there is interest in putting her name back up there,” Doty said of Amy Blanc and the public safety academy.

Trustee Dave Gaut said he shares Doty’s interest in preserving the past.

“It’ll be rectified,” Gaut said. “It’s going to be fine.”

“Keeping the names somehow is a good idea,” Gaut said.

Doty spoke about the days when K.I. Jones Elementary School was located at what is now the site of the mall in Fairfield. Today the school is now at 2001 Winston Drive.

Mary Bird School has shut its doors but was once a school. The site does still display her name, he noted.

The Fairfield resident remembered his own school days at University School, a K-12, at the campus of Indiana University. It was known as a laboratory school because university students learning to be teachers would observe classes at the K-12.

“We were the rats in the maze,” Doty recalled of his school days.

The mascot for the laboratory school in Bloomington, Ind., he added, was the guinea pig.

Doty doesn’t expect a Philip Doty school in the future in Fairfield-Suisun district.

“I haven’t done that many important things,” he said. “I don’t deserve that honor.”

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 6 comments

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  • mescFebruary 22, 2014 - 8:21 am

    This is a good idea. I totally support this.

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  • so i sayFebruary 22, 2014 - 8:50 am

    I would also like to see a district wide day where students share with us what they have learned about the person for whom their school is named. It is not enough to place a name on a building if we do not teach our children “Who, What, Why”. How many students know who Anna Kyle was or why a school was named in honor of Cleo Gordon. We need to honor Bill Chadbourne & Guido Colla for their long time commitment to the education of our children.

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  • Big DaddyFebruary 22, 2014 - 7:12 pm

    I Say, I totally agree, have some of the kids say what they learned, what they knew about the person who the school was named after. I personally knew Emalda Mundy, she was such a beautiful person and I worked with her husband and he was also a very neat guy.

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  • P.J.February 22, 2014 - 9:47 am

    So far, when I drive past what used to be Sullivan Middle School I notice that the name is still there. Yes, those schools were named for persons who made a contribution to Fairfield. The names should be kept somewhere on the property so people will remember.

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  • cynthia rodriguezFebruary 22, 2014 - 10:40 pm

    Mr. Doty was my fifth grade teacher at Amy Blanc. It was a great school and he was a hard working, smart and interested teacher. We need more such teachers at all schools, and to recognize our educators with good working conditions. Knowing fine educators from the past helps create fine educators in the future. Mr. Doty called me 20 years later, though I had not spoken to him in the interim, when I graduated from law school. Inspiring. Cynthia Rodriguez (Angelo Rodriguez's daughter)

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  • AnnaBlancFebruary 23, 2014 - 10:10 am

    I support this 100% this is my family legacy and a important part of Fairfield history that should not be dismissed Anna Blanc ( Amy Blanc Great Great Grandaughther)

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