LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington firefighters are applauding the decision to name the city’s newest elementary school after one of their own who was killed in the line of duty.
Lt. Brenda Cowan was the first black woman to join the Lexington Fire Department. She was a firefighter for 12 years, until she was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call.
All those who knew the fire lieutenant remember her smile and her legacy. They’re glad that Brenda Cowan Elementary School will open this fall and continue that legacy.
Monday night, the Fayette County School Board voted unanimously to name the school being built on Athens Boonesboro Road in Cowan’s honor.
“She was heavily devoted to the community. She was investing in youth all the way up to her passing, so it’s great and it’s only fitting that a school be named after her,” said Major Jordan Saas with the Lexington Fire Department.
The idea had been circulating for years.
“There were several retired firefighters that had worked with Brenda personally that were part of that group and were also right next to Teresa Isaac pushing this cause forward,” said Saas.
Once the school is complete, Cowan’s legacy will live on within the school. Saas said he hopes the fire department can impact the lives of the students there and help them learn about her.
“We think, honestly, if she were still here she would be smiling about this dedication,” he said.
Brenda’s brother, Fred Cowan, posted on a Facebook discussion group, thanking everyone for the support:
“I would like to express to everyone my sincere thanks for your support in helping to name Brenda Cowan Elementary School. I am so touched by each act and words of kindness that has made the naming of the new school possible. Thank you for remembering Brenda and appreciating her work and contribution to her community. I am truly blessed by this honor. And It is a great honor and blessing to have had her as my sister. Thank everyone so much. Especially Teresa Isaac.”