School board votes to change name of Cale Elementary

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Albemarle County School Board officially decided Thursday evening that Paul H. Cale Elementary School will be renamed.

Supporters of former Albemarle County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Cale, including friends and family, have come out to defend his legacy since the first motion to review the name of the school a year ago.

"I really don't know how you can look at the evidence that was uncovered, the facts that were uncovered about this individual, and say the things that I'm hearing said about him. I knew him personally," said one man during public comment.

An advisory board made up of community members, current Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas, and others who are part of the Cale community have called for the name to be changed.

"I believe very strongly that we, the Cale community and the larger Albemarle/Charlottesville community are being offered an opportunity to lead,” said one woman in support of changing the name during public comment. “To be the district that other districts look to for guidance to be on the right side of history. Please don't waste this opportunity."

In the end, the board voted to change the name. Board member Jason Buyaki was the only "no" vote. Jonno Alcaro, chair of the Albemarle County School Board, said it came down to Cale's lack of action in desegregating schools.

"A lot of lives would have been different had we as a state, had we as a county, had we as a school division been more proactive in desegregation,” said Alcaro.

Alcaro said this decision is taking a more active step in making Albemarle County's schools equal for every student.

"Every student matters. Every day. And I think tonight is proof of that,” said Alcaro.

The advisory board now has 90 days to recommend a new name to Hass, who will then make a recommendation to the county School Board.

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