eliot battle

The Columbia school board revealed a name for one of the two new Columbia elementary schools after months of planning and consideration. 

Kellie Kotraba, Columbia Faith & Values / KBIA

 Boxes of tissues lined the sanctuary of Missouri United Methodist Church on Saturday morning, but laughter frequently filled the air as family, friends and community members gathered to remember Columbia educator Eliot Battle.

Battle died in June from injuries sustained in a car accident, and he is most remembered for his role in desegregating Columbia’s public schools. The city’s newest high school is named after his wife.

Photo courtesy Columbia Public Schools.

When anyone asked Eliot Battle how he was doing, he would always answer, "Super."

Battle, a longtime Columbia educator, died Tuesday (June 11) from injuries sustained after a car crass Friday. He was 88. 

Battle had a key role in the desegregation of Columbia's public schools. And the new high school in town, Muriel Williams Battle High School, was named in honor of his wife, who died in 2003.

MU Cooperative Media Group

A little more than a week after celebrating with his family and community the opening of Columbia's Battle High, long-time Columbia educator Eliot Battle, has died. Columbia Public Schools spokesperson Michelle Baumstark says Battle died last night, Tuesday, June 11th, from injuries sustained after a car crash Friday. Battle had been hospitalized following the accident.

Battle High School opens to students

Jun 3, 2013
Joyu Wang / KBIA

Columbia’s new Battle High is open and welcoming students today. Hundreds of teachers, students, and guests attended Sunday's dedication ceremony for the school. Battle High is Columbia’s third comprehensive high school, and it is dedicated to Muriel Williams Battle, a long-time educator who served the local community for more than 40 years.

Members of the Battle family spoke at the dedication. Muriel Williams’ husband, Eliot Battle, said he is impressed with the building, and is proud of having the name of Battle on this school.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • State Senate map preliminarily approved
  • Fulton superintendent says no more budget cuts this year
  • Columbia educator honored in documentary
  • Protest against Tiger Town in downtown Columbia
  • Last year's drought impacting this year crops
MU Cooperative Media Group

MU Extension will premiere a documentary about the life of Eliot Battle, a long time educator and counselor for Columbia Public Schools.