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Greer school's name has community recognition

Greer Elementary’s name has got some recognition.

Albemarle County Public Schools, in the midst of a name review for all of its school buildings, has discovered that most students, staff and parents associated with Greer Elementary School know the history of the name and the lives of the people behind it.

Some 80% of respondents told school officials in an online survey that they are familiar with the life and career of the school’s namesake, Mary Carr Greer. Greer was an early-20th century educator for whom the school was named when it opened in 1974.

Almost 70% were familiar with the school division’s “values of equity, excellence, family and community, and wellness,” which are being used as the measure to determine which schools will retain their names and which will be changed.

The survey also asked respondents to submit name suggestions for the school and Greer received the largest number of recommendations followed by Blue Ridge and Hydraulic Elementary.

In a separate process held at the school, students were given a chance to make name suggestions as well. Their top name choice was Greer, followed by Gecko Elementary.

The online survey received responses from 138 people including 33 parents with kids in the Albemarle County Public Schools, 34 community members, and 14 students. It also asked those who took the survey which categories were important to consider in naming a school. The school’s values and location topped the list.

A community meeting to discuss the survey results will be held on Monday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. During the meeting, community members can offer comments and share their thoughts about the history of the school and the survey results. Registration is required and can be made by emailing no later than 9 a.m. on the 16th.

Following the public meeting on Monday, the community advisory committee will narrow the list of names under consideration to five. If Greer is among these five suggested names, the committee will research the life of Ms. Greer to determine if that name is consistent with school division values.

The school naming review policy also requires that any descendants of the Greer family be notified of the name review.

Greer will be the seventh school in the division to have its name reviewed. In all, there were 13 schools in the division named for individuals when the naming review policy went into effect in October 2018.

The former Jack Jouett Middle School; Cale Elementary School; Sutherland Middle School; and Murray High School have been renamed in the process.

Those schools are now known respectively as Journey Middle School; Mountain View Elementary School; Lakeside Middle School; and Community Lab School.

Broadus Wood and Virginia L. Murray elementary schools had their names pass muster and were retained after committee review.

The Greer school has about 400 students and is named in honor of Greer, born in 1883. She attended the Union Ridge Grade School, a primary school that later became the Albemarle Training School.

She taught school locally for several years before attending Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute in Petersburg, Virginia, now known as Virginia State University. She later joined the faculty at Albemarle Training School and, in 1931, became its third principal.


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