Murray Elementary celebrates namesake, makes dedication wall
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Area schools have been changing their original names recently because of historical ties to racism or Native American genocide.
But one Albemarle school is keeping its name: Murray Elementary.
Virginia L. Murray was Albemarle County's first black supervisor and is known for improving teacher and pupil education.
The school was founded as a segregated school for Black children in 1960.
The VLM Legacy Committee, which was made up of students from all grades, researched the history of their school and the importance of its namesake.
"Black people should be treated the same as white people, and that's what V.L. Murray tried to do," said second-grader Grant Shooter on what he learned about Murray.
Grant, his sister Elisabeth, and their fellow students on the committee wanted to honor Murray with a namesake wall.
"I love coming in and seeing this wall," Elisabeth said.
Talent Development Resource Teacher Laura Richardson ran the project.
"It feels really special to have students involved in such authentic and important work," she said.
The school hosted a dedication ceremony last month for the community.
"There were a bunch of activities like there were puzzles and stuff that taught you about the history. It felt good to know things I didn't know about the community," Grant said.
Ten original Murray students came and shared their experiences with current students.
"One of the alumni said, ‘Every day, we were greeted by name in front of the school,'" said Richardson. "And even the littlest students said, 'That's the same now, we're greeted every day.'"
She said it's remarkable to see students make the connection that the school's values have remained the same despite the many aspects of the school that have changed over the years.
"Ms. Virginia L. Murray is someone to be proud of, that Murray is now and was then a special hub in the community,” Richardson said.