The first meeting of the Broadus Wood Community Advisory Committee will be held virtually on Tuesday, September 28, at 6:30 p.m. A total of 14 school and community members have been selected to serve on the committee, which will review the name of the school consistent with a school board directive and the school division’s facility naming policy. This organizational meeting will be closed to the public.
Broadus Wood Elementary School is the sixth school in the division to have its name reviewed following the Albemarle County School Board’s 2018 decision to have Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Matthew Haas, evaluate all schools named for individuals. Of the division’s 25 schools, 14 are named for individuals.
At its organizational meeting, the committee will review and approve a community survey that will be sent to families in the school’s attendance zone to solicit their preferences for the name of their school. The committee also will decide on the dates of two public meetings. The first of those meetings will ask the community to offer their views on all of the names that are proposed in the community survey. The committee will narrow the list of names to five semi-finalists and a second public meeting will seek comment on those names.
Members of the community and the committee can recommend either a new name be chosen for the school or the retention of its current name. If the advisory committee selects the current school name as one of its three finalists, the policy requires the committee to examine if Broadus Ira Wood, for whom the school is named, made contributions to the community of state, national or world-wide significance. It also requires committee members to determine if his personal and professional conduct exemplified the school board’s values of equity, excellence, family and community, and wellness.
Members of the advisory committee were chosen from among those who expressed interest in serving on the committee. Two committee members are the school’s principal, Amy Morris, and the division’s Community Education Coordinator, Karen Waters-Wicks. Katie Breaud, who serves the school as a talent development resource teacher, and Ray Chrobak, the school librarian, will serve as the committee’s co-chairs.
Two committee members are from the Broadus Wood faculty: Claudia Linton and Deborah Swanson. Both are also alumnae. Five are parents of Broadus Wood students: Tyler Ayres, Kate Hamilton, Matt Muckle, Cornell Sims, and Trevor Thraves. Three live in the school community, but do not have students attending Broadus Wood: Charles Crenshaw, Lance King, and Jodie Webber. Crenshaw is an alumnus of Broadus Wood and the founder and chair of the Albemarle High School Alumni Association. King serves as a faith leader in the Broadus Wood community.
“We were delighted by the number of people who volunteered for our committee,” Breaud said. “We are confident our community representatives will be able to share and respect different opinions to reach a consensus in this review, which means so much to our community,” she said. Chrobak added: “One committee member emphasized the importance of community input and could not wait to share this upcoming experience as a learning moment with his children.”
Updates regarding the Broadus Wood Elementary School Naming Review are accessible on the school division’s School Naming Review website, along with current information on all school naming reviews. Community members with questions or suggestions about the Broadus Wood naming review can email the advisory committee at SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org.
Broadus Ira Wood was born in Earlysville in 1864. He was a farmer and local businessman, and he served on the local school board for over three decades. In 1906, Wood sold four acres of his land for use as the site of Earlysville High School for $50 and later gave the school two more acres to expand its playing fields. In 1934, two years after Wood’s death, Earlysville High School burned down and a new school was built in its place, this time named after Wood. The school transitioned to an elementary school in 1954.
The committee’s recommendation on a school name will be provided to the superintendent, who, in turn, will make a recommendation to the school board. The board will make the final decision on the school’s name. If that decision is to change the name of the school, the new name would become effective next July 1.
CONTACT: Helen Dunn, Legislative and Public Affairs Officer