Albemarle School Board Votes to Change Name of Cale Elementary
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - After almost a year of debate, Paul H. Cale Elementary School will be getting a new name.
Some board members agreed that the name change is a long time coming and a step in the right direction. Other say taking away the name diminishes the work of former superintendent Paul Cale.
"We don't need a school that's name after superintendent that presided while we held out from integration," said school board member Kartina Callsen.
School board member Jason Buyaki was the solo vote against the rename, saying that Cale's legacy deserved to be preserved.
"The body of Cale's work was that he actively worked for the betterment of all students," Buyaki said.
The review process began when remarks from former superintendent Paul H. Cale came to light that some consider racist. An advisory committee was tasked with reviewing Cale's past and recommended the name change.
"Mr. Cale's name does not deserve to be on one of our schools," said school board member Graham Paige. "I realize that much of the information that was in the committees report and items I've used in reaching my decision may be hard to accept or believe."
Other board members say it's time to move forward from what they consider a dark time in the school division's history.
"Paul Cale may or may not have been a racist, but it was a racist system," said school board member Steve Koleszar.
Some board members hope to see schools be named after something other than people in the future.
"Naming a school and assuming that that naming for a person is a right to be named that forever in perpetuity is ridiculous," said school board member Kate Acuff. "Mr. Cale had his name on Cale Elementary for almost a quarter of a century."
School board Chair Jonno Alcaro said he didn't feel he could ignore the recommendations of the superintendent, advisory committee, and the community.
"If we do not listen to these voices now, I don't know that we ever will," Alcaro said. "The past is behind us we have to move forward at every opportunity to do so."
The Cale Advisory Committee will now regroup to come up with a new name for the elementary school. The group has 90 days to present a recommendation to the school board.