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Mattahunt Elementary School Holds Naming Ceremony, Celebrates Haitian Dual-Language Program

Mattahunt Student

On Wednesday, May 23, the Mattahunt Elementary School in Mattapan celebrated the restoration of the school building's original name after a months-long community process was facilitated by Boston Public Schools (BPS).

Mattahunt Dual-Language Students

K1 (Pre-K) students in the Mattahunt's Haitian-Creole dual-language program performed a song at the event.

The original Mattahunt School was closed last year. A new school, the Mattapan Early Elementary School, then opened in September in the same building under a temporary name. After nearly 100 suggestions for school names were solicited from community members, the Boston School Committee voted to name the school Mattahunt once again, honoring the Native American tribe that once inhabited Mattapan.

Mattahunt Students with Superintendent Chang

BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang with students.

Additionally, the school's first-in-the-nation Haitian-Creole pre-K dual language program, which was launched last September, was officially named the Toussaint L'Ouverture Academy after the leader of the Haitian Revolution.

Stephanie Jean with Joelle Gamere and Walter Henderson

Stephanie Jean (center), a representative from the Haitian Consulate, presents a recognition award to Mattahunt Principal Walter Henderson (right) and Joelle Gamere, director of data and school culture (left).

Attendees included Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang, BPS Assistant Superintendent of English Learners Priya Tahiliani, Mattahunt Principal Walter Henderson, Mattahunt Director of Data and School Culture Joelle Gamere, Haitian-Creole teacher Priscilla Joseph, City Councilor Tim McCarthy, Rev. Dieufort Fleurissaint of the Massachusetts Association of Haitian Parents, and Stephanie Jean, representative from the Haitian Consulate.

Mayor Walsh with Toussaint L'Ouverture

Mayor Walsh (right) with a historical actor posing as Toussaint L'Ouverture.

More photos of the event are available on the Mayor's Office Flickr account.