The committee tasked to examine the namesake of Paul H. Cale Elementary School has recommended Mountain View Elementary School as its new name.
On Jan. 9., committee Chairman Dennis S. Rooker is scheduled to present the new name at the Albemarle County School Board meeting, the school division said. More than 800 pupils and teachers took part in the voting process.
“I want to thank our teachers and staff and especially our students for their enthusiasm and support of one another and for demonstrating what makes our school extraordinary,” Cyndi Wells, principal of Cale Elementary, said in a news release. “This was a highly inclusive process, one that builds momentum for our future success.”
The process of whether to rename the school was set in motion in October 2018, after a presentation on segregation in American schools referenced an article in Commentary magazine, which, through extensive paraphrasing, stated that Cale argued against integration in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling. Cale served as superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools from 1947 to 1967.
Current Superintendent Matt Haas took into consideration the input of a 12-person advisory committee tasked to investigate Cale’s legacy and gave his own recommendation to the board at an October’s meeting. The committee had concluded that the name change was warranted.
Among several findings, the committee said Cale aimed to improve education during his tenure; didn’t speak against segregation or try to integrate schools faster; and the School Board at the time was against desegregation.
Haas also has been tasked with reviewing all 14 school buildings with namesakes and the division’s existing policy on naming school buildings.
Because the process to investigate Cale Elementary was lengthy, Haas offered a streamlined process that would combine the decision to change the name with a selection of a new name and including the existing name in the pool.
Haas estimated it would take about a decade to go through all 14 schools without his proposed changes.