ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Albemarle County Public Schools will be looking into Virginia Lee Murray Elementary School’s name as part of an initiative to review all buildings named after people.
“What are our values for this school?” Principal Alison Dwier Seldon asked. “What means a lot to us? What do we stand for? What are our goals?”
Dwier-Shelden believes this process is important for the community: “I think that the reason for the school name review process is to ensure that the names of our schools represent Albemarle County’s stated mission, vision, and core values. So I think they’ll be very important for us when we think about our schools name,” she said.
The school is currently named after Virginia Lee Murray, who served as the first Black supervisor of elementary education in Albemarle County. The elementary school originally only served Black students before becoming desegregated in 1965.
“She was dedicated to growth and the best world that we could possibly create for children in Albemarle County, and I actually really look forward to having that opportunity to talk about some of that legacy with members of the community as we go through this process,” Dwier-Shelden said.
The name review process doesn’t mean the school will undergo a name change. A committee will be designed to look into the name and the community is encouraged to give feedback.
“I think anytime we have an opportunity to come together as a large group, to talk about what it is that our school stands for, what we want for children, what we want to stand for as a legacy is very important," the principal said. "So we have this chance now to review the name the person for whom our school was named, and talk about what it is we believe in now and about what we want for children.”
Dwier-Seldon says the plan is to have a recommendation on the name ready for the superintendent in early 2021.
For a link to the process of school name reviews click here. If you are interested in being a part of the advisory committee for the name review of Virginia L. Murray Elementary School send an email including your name, affiliation to the school, and reason for wanting to be a part of the committee to SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org.