Ann Hawkins Gentry Middle School opened on December 14, 1994. The school is named after Ann Hawkins Gentry, who was appointed Postmistress of Columbia in 1837. She remained in this position until 1865. Ann Hawkins Gentry died on January 18, 1870, and is buried in the Columbia Cemetery. She was inducted into the Boone County Hall of Fame, Boone County Historical Society in 1995.Gentry was the pilot middle school for the Columbia Public School district, and was planned and built after months of research and committee work. Gentry Middle School was the first middle school built in a 3-school project to move 6th and 7th grade students from the district into one middle school building. The building opened in December 1994 and 6th grade students moved from Benton, Field, Lee, Mill Creek, New Haven and Rock Bridge Elementary schools to the new building to set the climate and culture. Gentry started with three sixth grade core teams, each containing about 125 students and six teachers. Dr. Kim Harding was the first Principal and Dr. Deb Corkery was the first Assistant Principal of the new school.In the 1995 - 96 school year, Gentry doubled it's student population by having both 6th and 7th grade students in the building. Gentry remained a 6th and 7th grade building until Battle High School opened for the 2013 - 14 school year. At that time, Gentry became a middle school for 6th, 7th and 8th graders.Gentry Vision Statement: Gentry is an inviting and collaborative community that utilizes all of our resources and skills to support students and increase learning.Gentry Song:
Gentry School, its colors blazing, red and royal blue,
The mighty jaguar shows our strength and courage, spirit ever true.
Our hands hold the future, you see, moving forward with dignity!
Ann Hawkins Gentry School, we are honored to bear the name!
In June, 2021, COMO Magazine published their COMO 200 Issue. The issue featured a story by Vivian Kolks about Richard and Ann Hawkins Gentry. We are excited that they have allowed us to republish this article here, so you can learn more about the couple, and Woman, that are school is named for.