BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Dr. Dolores Beckham, the former principal of Jackson Heights’ IS 145, left behind a legacy—not only for her students, but also her Jackson Heights community, which she served for nearly two decades. Last week, the late principal’s community honored her years of work.
On Friday, exactly one year and one day since Beckham lost her battle against cancer at age 62, her family and friends gathered to honor her with a street co-naming, which took place a few steps from the places where she spent most of her time—her residence and the school she led. Beckham’s family was joined at 34th Avenue and 80th Street by Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Elmhurst), Democratic District Leader Maureen Allen, current IS 145 Principal Ivan Rodriguez, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators President Mark Cannizzar and 115th Precinct Inspector Michele Irizarry for the official co-naming of “Dr. Dolores Beckham Way.”
“Principal Beckham was a woman of vision, an excellent educator who spent her entire professional career fighting for a quality public education for all students,” said Peralta. “When people were skeptical about dual-language programs, she transformed IS 145 into a model for other schools. With the co-naming of the Jackson Heights street, she will always be a part of our history. Her legacy will never be forgotten.”
Beckham’s passion for education expanded beyond IS 145. She also worked as an adjunct professor at St. John’s University. “Dr. Dolores Beckham was a Jackson Heights icon,” said Dromm. “She was an exemplary educator. Thanks to her visionary leadership, IS 145’s dual language program became one of the best in the city and served as a model for other schools. Dr. Beckham’s hard work and dedication took IS 145 to new heights, and I am pleased to host this co-naming in her honor.”
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144, firstname.lastname@example.org or @reporter_ariel.