The Olympia School Board unanimously voted Monday night to rename the area in honor Larry Norwood, the 1,350-student school’s founding principal.
Nine other names were considered, but Norwood was the only person to receive multiple nominations, said district spokesman Ryan Betz.
Other nominees were former Capital principal Doug Heay, former student and Olympic athlete Bodie Buckland, former Capital teacher Mike Mulligan, former athletic coach Ed Stevens, former school staff member Terry Norberg, former teacher Diane Rae, former custodian Ralph Zabroski and Capital teacher and district music director Dan Lundberg.
Norwood graduated from Granger High School, about 30 miles southeast of Yakima, and studied economics at Central Washington University. After working for Firestone Tire Co. for four years, he returned to Central to pursue an education degree and a Master in School Administration.
Before taking the helm at Capital, Norwood was vice principal at Selah High School for seven years and principal of W.F. West High School in Chehalis for five.
Under his leadership from 1974-92, Capital High won numerous academic, sports, music and student group awards, including the U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon National Award for Excellence in 1987.
“It is difficult to explain how a positive atmosphere can be created, but Larry had that intangible capability and somehow the students and staff at Capital felt that magic,” said retired Capital High counselor Carolyn Keck, who was part of a committee that oversaw the renaming process.