Ellen Nightingale

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"Last year, when Vaughn was poised to enter public school kindergarten, the rules suddenly changed. A new superintendent and new leadership tried something new, which left about ten children, all rising kindergartners, in our neighborhood with no school assignment. Oakwood didn’t have many kids generations ago. We haven’t had a huge demand for schools in our downtown community. No one lived here. They [the School Board] were grossly under prepared for the volume of kids coming from these nodes which used to be mostly businesses.

I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t on the news all the time. And they weren’t willing to fix it. David and I said we have to find a path through this. I sent an evite to anyone who had a kid or any connection downtown and we were going to walk from the Krispy Kreme to the School Board meeting at Broughton. I didn’t have any expectations. We had over 200 people show up with strollers and signs. We even had helicopters follow us. They fixed. This whole process was a testament to our community. People really stepped up for us.

I joked with some neighbors. I called it the Oakwood Army. We have an army."

Ellen and David Nightingale moved to 407 East Jones in 2004. In addition to hosting the Candlelight Tour and Athletic Clubs and leading the movement to resolve school placement issues for children in Oakwood, Ellen served as president of the Oakwood Garden Club.