At its meeting last week, the Albemarle County School Board approved the recommendations of the superintendent, Dr. Matthew Haas, and a volunteer community advisory committee that Jouett Middle School should be renamed Journey, effective July 1, 2022. The action by the board completed a process that began in April when the community advisory committee was first appointed by the superintendent. The committee conducted two online surveys and two community information meetings before recommending Journey to Dr. Haas.
The community advisory committee included seven parents, six staff members, two residents of the community who do not have a child currently attending the school, and a Jouett graduate who is now a student at Albemarle High School. In her presentation to the school board, the committee chair, Hannah Peters, who is also a teacher at the middle school, especially noted the participation of students in the naming review.
Peters quoted one student who said, “In times like this, we must move forward and embrace so we can continue to grow. I feel strongly that we should change the name to Journey Middle School. I started my journey in middle school and take a lot of what I have learned with me.”
Later in the school board meeting, Haas said that Broadus Wood Elementary School would be the next school to undergo a naming review. This will be the sixth school named for an individual in the division that will participate in the process. The board has directed the superintendent to conduct naming reviews of all 14 schools in the division that are named for individuals. The board’s naming review policy requires that all schools named for individuals represent the school division’s values of equity, excellence, family and community, and wellness.
Broadus Wood is named for a local farmer, Broadus Ira Wood, who in 1905 donated the land for the school. At one time, Broadus Wood was part of Earlysville High School. The building was destroyed in a fire and rebuilt as Broadus Wood. It became an elementary school in 1953 when Albemarle High School opened.
Broadus Wood’s principal, Amy Morris, said the school’s naming review committee will be co-chaired by two members of the staff: Katie Breaud, who serves the school as a talent development resource teacher, and Ray Chrobak, the school librarian. Morris has invited community and staff members to serve on the advisory committee, which, in addition to the principal and co-chairs, must include at least three parents, two community members who do not have children in the school, and three staff members. Those interested in serving are asked to send an email expressing the nature of their interest to SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org.
“With the help and support of our students and their families, our staff, alumni, and other community members, we are looking forward to evaluating the name and history of our school,” said Breaud and Chrobak. Our focus will be on the values, vision and mission of both Broadus Wood and our school division. We’re excited about this opportunity to further strengthen our school community and to increase Bobcat pride in our school,” they said.
Included in the Broadus Wood committee’s work will be the design of as many as two online community surveys and up to two community meetings to discuss survey results. If the committee decides to consider the school’s current name as a finalist in its deliberations, it will conduct research on Mr. Wood’s contributions to the community and on whether his personal and professional conduct exemplifies the school division’s values. Eventually, the committee will make a recommendation to Haas, who will consider the recommendation and advise the school board on the school’s name. If there is a name change, the new name would take effect on July 1, 2022.
The five previous school naming reviews also were conducted by volunteer community advisory committees, and in each instance, the superintendent supported the committee’s recommendation. The school board has changed the name of four schools and retained the name of another. Summaries of all completed reviews and those in progress are maintained on the school division’s School Names Under Review web page.
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Strategic Communications Officer