The committee tasked with reviewing the name of Virginia L. Murray Elementary School wants to hear from the community about potential new monikers or keeping the current one.
Murray Elementary is the latest Albemarle County school to go through the name review process, which started in 2019 with Cale Elementary, which was renamed Mountain View Elementary.
In an online survey, school community members can suggest names, including Murray, and the committee will review the feedback at a virtual public meeting Feb. 10. Results of the survey will be released before that meeting.
The survey is available at survey.k12insight.com/r/jmyol1 and will be open for three weeks.
Following the meeting, the committee will select 10 potential names and then solicit feedback on those ideas. Eventually, they’ll narrow that group to three and then make a recommendation to schools Superintendent Matt Haas.
The school opened in 1960 for Black students in first through seventh grades and was desegregated five years later. Virginia Murray was a longtime Black educator in the school system and served as a demonstration teacher until 1931. She then was promoted to supervisor of elementary education, the first Black supervisor ever appointed in Albemarle County.
If Murray is among the three finalists, the committee will have to examine her contributions to the community and determine if her personal and professional conduct exemplifies the School Board’s current values of excellence, young people, community and respect, according to the board’s policy.
“The community response to our mission has been extraordinary,” said Teller Stalfort, a Murray parent and chair of the committee. “We have 17 representatives serving on our committee, including those with direct ties to the school, school alumni and those who do not currently have children attending Murray Elementary. We are hoping the survey will add to the diversity of the opinions we receive and to the quality of our process and decision.”
The school shares its namesake with Murray Community Charter School, whose name also is under review. A committee decided on a list of 10 names last month and is planning to release a survey on those suggestions this month. Only one of the finalists includes Murray.