Charlottesville considers new names for Burnley-Moran, Johnson Elementary Schools

The Charlottesville School Board will be presented tonight with two names for two more elementary schools. A name review committee is recommending that Burnley-Moran become Blue Mountain Elementary and that Johnson Elementary become Cherry Avenue Elementary. 

“In the case of Burnley-Moran and Johnson, the three namesakes of these schools—Carrie Burnley, Sarepta Moran, and James G. Johnson—all served Charlottesville’s racially segregated white schools as teacher, principal, or superintendents,” reads a press release sent out this morning.

The intent of the Naming of Facilities Committee is to look at all school names to see if they meet the school division’s current values. Former Venable Elementary is now Trailblazers Elementary and former Clark Elementary is now Summit Elementary. 

Several of the Charlottesville schools under review. Replacing the image at Clark Venable will be more expensive due to the name of the school carved into the masonry. (Credit: City of Charlottesville)

A community survey for this latest name change went out in mid January and received 396 submissions. Sixty-one percent of survey respondents supported changing the name of Burnley-Moran. Other replacement names included Rivanna and Blue Ridge Mountain.  

Fifty percent supported changing the name of Johnson which has replacement choices of Cherry Avenue, Forest Hills, and Landmark. 

Thirty-four people attended a community forum on January 26. One person pointed out that Burnley and Moran had been both female principals at a time when leadership positions were predominantly male. There’s a full account of this exercise on the committee’s website

The School Board is expected to take a vote on April 13. A spokeswoman for the school system said the committee is aware of there is brewery in Nelson County with the same name. Blue Mountain also owns South Street Brewery in downtown Charlottesville. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the March 2, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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