ALEXANDRIA,VA–For the last few months, the Alexandria School Board had asked for community input and ideas for naming the new elementary school opening this fall.
It was the first time in 17 years Alexandria City has had the opportunity to name a new school. From Michelle Obama to former Alexandria Mayor Patsy Ticer, the choices presented were varied and numerous.
But last night, in a near sweep of 8 to 1, the Alexandria School Board voted to name the school after early civil rights leader, Ferdinand T. Day.
Back in 1964, the Alexandria native was appointed the first African-American to Alexandria’s school board. He would help lead the board and the city to an integrated school system by 1971, reconciling Alexandria’s segregated past.
“Mr. Day’s legacy, which involved planning for the needs of every student, informs every decision we make today,” said School Board member Karen Graf, upon learning of Day’s passing in 2015 at the age of 96. “Mr. Day changed the whole nature of the school system and was behind the creation of an ‘every student counts’ culture that we widely accept now as the norm. I’m humbled to stand in the shadow of his legacy.”
In 2007, Day was named one of the inaugural class of 2007 of the Living Legends of Alexandria.
In the fall, the new Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School, will open inside a former office building off Beauregard in the West End of Alexandria.