A Wichita school for young adults with developmental disabilities has been renamed to honor the man who championed special education in the district and served as the school’s first principal.
The Wichita school board voted 6-0 this week to rename Chisholm Life Skills Center to the Dunlap Transition Campus at Chisholm in honor of Ken Dunlap.
Dunlap began working in the Wichita school district as an adaptive physical education teacher at Levy Special Education Center in 1971. He served as special education coordinator from 1990 to 1995.
In 1996, Chisholm Life Skills Center opened in the former Chisholm Elementary School building, near I-135 and Harry Street.
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The program, previously housed at Starkey Inc., is designed for developmentally disabled students aged 18 to 21 to transition from high school to adulthood. Students have a variety of work opportunities that are sponsored by the school and learn skills to help them live more independently.
Dunlap, who served as the school’s first principal, retired from the Wichita district in 2002. He died in 2012.
Former school board member Jeff Davis led the committee to rename the school.
“It was Mr. Dunlap’s dream (for the district) to have our own special school where he could take care of his kids,” Davis said Monday. The school hosts annual proms and graduation ceremonies for students.
“He created an environment that enabled them to achieve goals that otherwise would not have been possible.”