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Board Trustee and Educator Elinor Lincoln Hickey Passes Away

Trustee’s Commitment to Education Spanned Six Decades

Formal Portrait: Elinor Lincoln Hickey

It is with great sadness that the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) announces the passing of longtime Sacramento County Board of Education trustee Elinor Lincoln Hickey who died January 22 at the age of 90 at her home in Sacramento.

Hickey had served since 1990 as Area 1 Trustee for the County Board of Education and twice as Board President (1991-1992 and 2000-2001).

"A good teacher is like a candle that gives of itself to light the way for others. For decades, Elinor gave of herself and lit the way for thousands of students," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon. "Elinor was always interested in the success of students—both in and out of the classroom. Her tireless advocacy for the educational rights of children will be sorely missed."

On September 28, 2005, the Sacramento County Board of Education voted unanimously to name one of its community schools in recognition of decades of service given to students and families by retired Sacramento teacher Elinor Lincoln Hickey.

Friends, former students, and colleagues gathered for the formal dedication of the Elinor Lincoln Hickey Junior-Senior High School on December 10, 2005. During the ceremony, Hickey stated, "There are so many wonderful things that have happened in my life. Community schools and our court schools have always been high on my list, and that's why I am so pleased to have this honor particularly bestowed upon me."

Elinor Lincoln Hickey Jr./Sr. High School is a community school located at 2040 Ethan Way in Sacramento, off Cottage Way between El Camino Avenue and Howe Avenue. The school shares a campus with the Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School special education and career training site operated by SCOE.

Hickey graduated from the University of Southern California in 1938 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and received her teaching credential from Stanford University in 1939. Her first teaching job was at Yreka High School, in the Siskiyou Union High School District, that same year. With her husband, Carl Hickey, she moved to Sacramento in 1944. While raising her two daughters, Ellen and Nancy, she became active in the Parent-Teacher Association of David Lubin Elementary School. She served as Lubin's PTA President and went on to fill leadership roles in the Third District PTA. Upon the death of her husband in 1960, she resumed her teaching career. She began teaching at Sacramento High School in 1961.

During her long career in education, Hickey touched the lives of thousands of students while teaching public speaking, debate, journalism, radio/television, and English. She established Sacramento High School's first television and radio curriculum. The Communication Arts Center building on the Sacramento High School campus is named after her. She was also the founder and president of the Sacramento Valley Forensic League.

In 1978, the year before she retired from teaching, Hickey was selected as the Sacramento City Unified School District Teacher of the Year. She was also honored as the Sacramento County Teacher of the Year that same year.

As Area 1 Trustee, she represented the communities of College Greens, Curtis Park, downtown and midtown Sacramento, East Sacramento, Elder Creek, Hollywood Park, Land Park, Lemon Hill, McKinley Park, Perkins, River Park, Tahoe Park, and portions of Airport, Oak Park, and South Land Park. School districts she serves include a major portion of Sacramento City Unified School District, and small portions of Elk Grove Unified and North Sacramento School Districts.

Prior to being elected to the County Board of Education, she was elected to two terms of office as trustee of the Sacramento City Unified School District. She served one term as SCUSD Board President.

Hickey was active in numerous community organizations, including the Renaissance Society, which conducts learning programs for senior citizens at California State University, Sacramento. She also previously served on the State Teacher Credentialing Committee, as well as the board of the Tierra del Oro Girl Scout Council and the League of Women Voters Sacramento County.

Elinor Hickey with student running television camera in studio
Elinor Hickey seated with large group of students