In a recent survey as part of the Broadus Wood Elementary School name review, over 55% of respondents said they are familiar with the life and career of Broadus Ira Wood, the early 20th century farmer and businessman for whom the school was named. Almost 58% said that they were familiar with the school division’s values of equity, excellence, family and community, and wellness. More than six in 10 (62%) said they had a meaningful understanding of the school’s guiding principles of academic excellence, character development, love of learning, collaboration and independence, respect, and appreciation and awareness of others.
The survey received responses from 397 people including 111 Broadus Wood parents, 73 community members, and 168 students. It also asked those who took the survey which naming categories were important to consider in naming a school. The location of a school and the school’s values topped that list.
A community meeting to discuss these results will be held on October 26 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. People wishing to address advisory committee members are asked to sign up by 9 a.m. that day by emailing SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org. Anyone interested in streaming the meeting can use this link:
The 14-person advisory committee was recently chosen from among those who expressed interest in serving. Two 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, are the committee’s co-chairs. Other members include parents of Broadus Wood students, alumni, and residents of the school community.
“We have greatly enjoyed getting to know our committee members and hearing from the community about this process,” Breaud said. “There is quite a bit of community wisdom about Mr. Wood and we are thankful for everyone who has shared their thoughts so far,” she added. The survey results, she said, “create an opportunity to review the data as a team and use the results to guide our community through the remainder of the process.”
A second survey, which will be sent to the community early next month, will ask for specific name suggestions. If Broadus Wood is one of the names chosen by survey respondents, the advisory committee will complete as much research as possible on the life of Mr. Wood in order to determine if it is consistent with school division values. The school naming review policy also requires the advisory committee to notify any descendants of the Broadus Wood family of the naming review, and has asked anyone who can be helpful in providing suggestions or assistance in identifying descendants to contact the committee.
Broadus Wood is the sixth school in the division to conduct a naming review. In directing that all schools in the division that are named for individuals have their names reviewed, the school board said the purpose should be to ensure that the names of all schools represent the division’s four values of equity, excellence, family and community, and wellness.
Broadus Ira Wood, a farmer and local businessman who served on the local school board for over three decades, was born in Earlysville in 1864. 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. When Earlysville High School burned down in 1934, a new school was built in its place, this time named after Wood. The school transitioned for use as an elementary school in 1954.
The five previous school naming reviews also were conducted by volunteer community advisory committees, with the school board voting to change the name of four schools and to retain the name of another. Summaries of all completed reviews and those in progress are accessible from the school division’s School Names Under Review web page.
In addition to the upcoming public meetings, counsel or questions are welcome at any time by emailing the advisory committee at SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org.
CONTACT: Helen Dunn, Legislative and Public Affairs Officer