ACPS nears conclusion in search for West End school name

ACPS nears conclusion in search for West End school name
Michelle Obama, Sonia Sotomayor, Ferdinand T. Day, Katherine Johnson, Ellen Ochoa and Barack Obama (Photo courtesy ACPS)

By Alexa Epitropoulos |

The in-the-works West End elementary school at 1701 N. Beauregard St. will soon be nameless no more.

ACPS announced Monday it has narrowed the field of candidates to name its new elementary school, which will have a focus on STEM, after.

The school board has identified four final school name options – Day-Ochoa Elementary School, after longtime Alexandrian, influential educator and civil rights advocate Ferdinand T. Day and aeronautics trailblazer Ellen Ochoa; Katherine Johnson Elementary School, after ‘Hidden Figure’ Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician who famously calculated the trajectory, launch window and emergency backup return path for the 1969 Apollo 11 flight; Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson; Michelle and Barack Obama Elementary School and Sonia Sotomayor Elementary School, after the associate justice of the Supreme Court. 

The school board has been mulling names for the new school since launching the West End School Naming Committee last fall. The committee was tasked with finding names that were “reflective of the new school’s diversity, inspirational to elementary-age students and [that had] a connection to Virginia.”

The school board will present their recommendations and the criteria for each selection at the next board meeting on Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. at the school board meeting room at 1340 Braddock Place. The name will also be discussed at a Feb. 15 public hearing.