New Fayette Elementary Bears The Name Of Fallen Firefighter

Aug 13, 2019

Credit Fayette County Public Schools

A ribbon cutting for a new elementary school in Fayette County provided an opportunity to again recognize the contributions of a public servant, Brenda Cowen, who died in the line of duty. 

More than 400 students will enter the doors of Brenda Cowan Elementary this week when the school officially opens. 


“The outpouring of love and the tribute honoring our cousin and our family member is overwhelming,” said Rachel Moxley.

Moxley, a first cousin to Cowan who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call in February 2004.  Lexington Fire Chief Kristin Chilton said Cowan would be the first one to help people with a huge smile on her face.

Participants at the ribbon cutting were greeted with a large American flag hanging down from two ladder fire trucks. 

Moxley told those gathered about the firefighter’s great grandfather, a slave who lived when it was illegal for slaves to learn to read and write.  “Here there is a school dedicated to reading and writing and learning all those values.  To have that happen today after being the offspring of a slave who struggled to learn, against the law, who struggled to learn to read and write.  What a blessing it is.  We’re so grateful for that,” she said. 

Fayette School Board Chair Stephanie Aschmann said there are more than a thousand students just in the nearby Chilesburg neighborhood. “This why we have two schools so close to each other'"  she said. mentioning  Athens Chilesburg Elementary.  

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