Most of our schools are named after people. One of those people died recently, Merrill Ross. He died February 15 in Texas at the age of 92. The former Highland Park South Elementary School was renamed Ross Elementary School in 1993 for he and his wife's many years of service to Topeka Public Schools.
Mr. Ross came to Topeka in 1944 to teach. A short time later, he was inducted into the military and became a fighter pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen. After the war, he returned to Topeka to teach and later serve as principal at Washington Elementary, Avondale West Elementary, Sheldon Elementary and Quinton Heights Elementary. He retired from Topeka Public Schools in 1985. In 1992, Mr. Ross was inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame.
A service for Merrill Ross was held February 25th at Shiloh Baptist Church. Mr. Ross is survived by his wife Barbara who is a former teacher in Topeka Public Schools.