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commUNITY spotlight: Boling-Barton honored at McKinley High with special dedication

BPS and the Boling-Barton family held a celebration at McKinley High. As a lasting tribute, the auditorium was dedicated in her honor and a ribbon was cut.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A special dedication for an educator who touched many lives in Buffalo took place on Saturday.

Longtime McKinley High School principal Crystal Boling-Barton passed away in June. She was 70.

On Saturday, the school district and her family held a celebration at the school on Elmwood Avenue. As a lasting tribute, the school auditorium was dedicated in her honor and a ribbon was cut.

Boling-Barton was a no-nonsense principal, and a union leader who didn't back down from wanting the best for her students. During Saturday's service, people reflected on her life.

"She didn't hold your hand. She didn't give you a tutoring type of process. You had to watch and learn, and ask if you didn't know," Jody Covington, principal of The Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts said.

Covington once worked under Barton at McKinley.

Added Patricia Preston, a retired principal who worked as an assistant principal at McKinley many years ago: "She was one of the few people I could cry with, and then she would say, 'OK, you got to get up and keep moving forward.' That was Crystal. You might fall down, but you get up, and you keep moving forward."

Added Naomi Cerre: "Crystal Boling-Barton, you are a living legacy. We are standing on your shoulders."

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