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California School Board Votes Unanimously to Rename Elementary School After Michelle Obama


A school board in California voted unanimously to rename an elementary school after former First Lady Michelle Obama. The West Contra Costa Unified School District will rename the Wilson Elementary School after the former first lady.

In a press release, the board’s president Stephanie Hernandez-Jarvis said, “Naming this school after Michelle Obama is a sign of the school’s rebirth.”

Hernandez-Jarvis added:

“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.” 

The decision was also praised by the school’s principal, Claudia Velez, who said, “We have the opportunity to have a beautiful new school named after a person who really represents our diversity and values.”

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Velez continued, “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 school is home to around 430 students from kindergarten through the 6th grade.

There are already a few schools named after the first couple, including Barack and Michelle Obama Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, and Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary in St. Paul, Minnesota.

However, the new school in Richmond, California — which is expected to be open for the 2020-2021 school year — is the first to be named after the former first lady in Northern California.

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