Director Of Johnson Space Center To Attend Dedication Of Namesake School In Tulsa

Wednesday, October 18th 2017, 4:09 pm
By: News On 6

Dr. Ellen Ochoa, the director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, will be the featured guest for a formal dedication of a new Tulsa elementary school named in her honor.

Ellen Ochoa Elementary School was named in honor of her being the first Hispanic female astronaut and serving as the current director of NASA's Johnson Space Center.

In celebration, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum has also proclaimed October 23 as Ellen Ochoa Day.

The ceremony at the new school, located at 12000 E. 31st St., will take place on Monday, October 23 at 10am.

Born on May 10, 1958, in Los Angeles, California, Ochoa received her master of science and doctorate degrees at Stanford University. 

She was selected by NASA in 1990, and in 1991 became the world's first Hispanic female astronaut. A mission specialist and flight engineer, Ochoa is a veteran of four space flights, logging more than 950 hours in space.

Ochoa's numerous awards include NASA's Exceptional Service Medal (1997), Outstanding Leadership Medal (1995), and Space Flight Medals (2002, 1999, 1994, 1993). Besides being an astronaut, researcher, and engineer, Ochoa is a classical flutist.

Ellen Ochoa Elementary is the newest school at Union Public Schools, opening its doors for the first time on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, thanks to the overwhelming support of voters in previous bond elections. 

The new school, which serves about 500 students, is still undergoing construction as Union works to add a new gymnasium and additional space for music, art, and other classrooms. A new health clinic will also be built at the site.