School History

  • Dr. Aaron Shirley (1933-2014) & Dr. Ollye Shirley (1934-2016)

    Dr. Aaron Shirley (1933-2014) & Dr. Ollye Shirley (1934-2016)

    Shirley Elementary School (formerly Lee Elementary)
    Dr. Aaron Shirley (January 3, 1933–November 26, 2014), a native Mississippian, became the first African-American resident at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1965. He became a physician and served as an associate professor of pediatrics at the medical center. Shortly after his residency, he helped to establish the Jackson Hinds Comprehensive Health Center. He also established a comprehensive school-based clinic to provide health and counseling services. Later in life, Aaron Shirley served as Chairman of the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation Board.

    Dr. Ollye Shirley (January 10, 1934–September 10, 2016) was a long-serving member of the JPS Board of Trustees, including serving as President of the Board. She assisted in a significant School Board referendum that allowed the District to expand and improve its facilities. Additionally, she was instrumental in expanding Mississippi Educational Television's programming in this area to include Sesame Street despite initial opposition because of its ethnically diverse cast of adults and children.

    The Shirleys will be remembered for their individual and collective accomplishments. The community regarded them as heroes for their lifetime of tenacious advocacy. The renaming of Lee Elementary recognizes the Shirleys' outstanding contributions to Jackson's welfare.