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Broadus Wood naming committee narrows possible choices to five, seeks input

The advisory committee reviewing the name of Albemarle County’s Broadus Wood Elementary School wants feedback on the final five suggestions for the school’s name before making a recommendation.

The possible names are Broadus Wood Elementary School, Buck Mountain Elementary School, Northern Elementary School, Piney Mountain Elementary School, and Rivanna/Rivanna River Elementary School.

The survey is available online at and closes at 5 p.m. Feb. 3.

The school division is reviewing all schools named after people. Broadus Wood is the sixth school to go through the review process.

According to School Board policy, school names should align the division’s values of equity, excellence, family and community, and wellness. They should reflect places of historic or geographic interest or themes that reflect the cultural and historic character of the community.

The school opened in 1906 as Earlysville High School. Broadus Ira Wood sold and donated land from his farm for the school, which was named after him in 1935. When the school first opened, the campus also included a 10-stall stable where students could house their horses after riding to school, according to the division.

Most of the original building burned down in 1934, though the middle section remained intact. The school became an elementary school in 1953 when Albemarle High School opened.

At a public meeting in October, the committee heard from the grandson and great-granddaughter of Broadus Ira Wood, according to a news release.

“[They] shared their memories of the man for whom the school is named, describing him as having been dedicated to the Earlysville community and to notions of equity for his fellow community members,” according to a division recap of their comments.

Ray Chrobak, a teacher who is chairing of the committee along with teacher Katie Breaud, said community feedback has been important to the group’s discussions thus far.

“It was inspiring to hear from so many Bobcat families, staff, alumni, community members, and especially students, as we discussed this name review process and determined our five possible names,” Chrobak said in a news release.

On Friday, Chrobak and Breaud will host a school assembly to share the name possibilities with students and give them a chance to vote for their choice.

The committee will discuss the survey results, public comments and its own research to make a final recommendation to Superintendent Matt Haas. The school board has the final say on what to name the school.


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