School Votes to Remove Former President's Name, Replace it with Michelle Obama
The Wilson Elementary School to be renamed after former first lady
A school board in Northern California has voted to rename an elementary school from former President Woodrow Wilson, to former first lady Michelle Obama.
The Wilson Elementary School will be renamed by the West Contra Costa Unified School District’s Board of Education.
The decision for the move is supposedly because Michelle Obama is more relatable for modern students.
Maisha Cole, the Wilson Elementary Parent Teacher Association president, argued students are more inspired by the former first lady.
"They all recognize her, they know her initiatives, healthy eating, you can do it, she’s so encouraging, and we wanted somebody to embody that,” Cole told WTTV.
But most of the students had not been born or were infants when the Obamas first entered the White House.
The school teaches 430 students from kindergarten up to sixth grade, the East Bay Times reported.
While the construction of a brand new “state-of-the-art 21st-century” school building takes place, classes are currently being held in a temporary location.
School board president Stephanie Hernandez-Jarvis said she was excited about the new name, highlighting the former first lady’s “values.”
“Naming this school after Michelle Obama is a sign of the school’s rebirth,” Hernandez-Jarvis said.
“We can see the new physical structure being built, but this name change sets high expectations for the students and staff as they enter a new era for this school and this school community."
“The parents and students advocated to rename their school after Michelle Obama because they believe the values our former first lady embodies and the educational, child-centered causes she champions, are representative of what we all aspire to nurture in our school communities."
“She is a role model for our children, and we strive to serve our students with the same kind of love, advocacy, and courage that she served our country.”
Video: Michelle Obama’s Ego Hits All Time High Over Claim About The World Seeing Barack As “Their President”— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) November 1, 2019
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Student representative on the board, Dawit Vazquez-Suomala, also agreed.
“To go to a school named Michelle Obama, I think that’s really special, and more schools should do that,” Vazquez-Suomala told WTTV.
The PTA submitted a letter earlier this year requesting the change.
“Woodrow Wilson was a great name back then, but now we want to think bigger,” Cole told KTTV.
“With a new school and new learning environment, we want our children to think beyond Richmond, to think beyond California, and remind them that they can make a difference locally and globally,” Cole added in a statement.
Principal Claudia Velez was also happy with the name change.
“We have the opportunity to have a beautiful new school named after a person who really represents our diversity and values,” Velez said.
“Our school is diverse, modern, and innovative, and the things that the kids will be doing will prepare them for a very strong and successful future in whatever career they choose.”
The West Contra school is the second school in the state to be named after the former first lady, according to the school board.