The library at Pulaski Street School will soon be renamed the U.S. Army Private First Class Garfield M. Langhorn Memorial Library in honor of the Medal of Honor recipient from Riverhead.
Pfc. Langhorn died in battle in Vietnam in 1969 when he jumped on a live grenade to save his comrades.
The Riverhead school board unanimously approved the change at Tuesday night’s board meeting, which was attended by Pfc. Langhorn’s mother, Mary.
“I think this will be inspiration for students for many years to come,” said district superintendent Nancy Carney.
A bronze plaque will be placed near the library’s entrance and a poster commemorating the dedication of the Pfc. Garfield M. Langhorn Post Office, presented to the school by the Veterans of America Chapter 11, will be displayed inside.
Pulaski Street principal David Densieski said he hopes the spirit of Pfc. Langhorn, who attended Pulaski Street in the 1960s, when it was still Riverhead High School, would continue for decades.
“We wanted this to live beyond all of us,” he said.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will likely be held sometime in April.
An annual essay contest for sixth-graders in honor of Pfc. Langhorn has been organized, according to Mr. Densieski. It was developed by the school with First Baptist Church of Riverhead, which also has a library dedicated to Pfc. Langhorn.
In other news, the district listed all recent service contracts approved by Ms. Carney, something the board has not always done. The contracts included $31,000 for special education tuition and $10,000 for Medicaid billing.
In September, the board approved a resolution allowing the superintendent to sign off on professional service contracts of up to $100,000. The move drew some criticism when Ms. Carney approved a contract for former interim business administrator Joseph Singleton, who was hired on a part-time basis at $800 a day, before making that information public. Mr. Singleton later replaced former assistant superintendent of finance Michael Ivanoff, who was fired shortly after Mr. Singleton was hired.