By Hunter Nusz

Alvin Cooke, Carol Cook Kellam, and Samuel Jones make up the “Central Three.” The Central Three made history during the 1960 school year when they became the first African American students to desegregate and walk the halls of Central Elementary School. 

Alvin Cooke, Carol Cook Kellam, and Samuel Jones stand and watch as Seaford School Board President David Tull and Board Member Dara Savage unveil the plaque in their honor. Photo by Hunter Nusz

During the February Seaford School Board meeting, the board honored the three with the unveiling of a permanent plaque that will be put in the lobby of the elementary school. Before the plaque unveiling, Board Member Dara Savage opened with some comments saying, “Their place here at Central Elementary was questioned and challenged in 1960, but as of this day, the Central Three are now a permanent part of Central Elementary School.”

Another fact that makes the unveiling even more special is that Carol Cook Kellam’s daughter Chandra Phillips is now the principal of Central Elementary. “If that’s not black history, I don’t know what is,” said Savage. “This plaque we will be unveiling tonight is significant for a number of reasons, but mainly because it tells the story of black strength, courage, resilience, and excellence, to the Seaford School District students and staff for generations to come.”  

The plaque unveiled is a replica because the real one was not done in time. The real plaque will be put on display in the lobby of Central Elementary. Cooke, Kellam, and Jones were all also given replicas to take with them. 

After the presentation, Superintendent Dr. Cory Miklus gave some parting words. Miklus said, “It really hits the nail on the head for what I feel the Seaford School District is all about, thinking about our past, thinking about where we’ve come from, celebrating that, and celebrating with them coming out.”