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Advisory Committee recommends Mountain View Elementary as new name for Cale
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Advisory Committee recommends Mountain View Elementary as new name for Cale

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Cale Elementary School

ANDREW SHURTLEFF/THE DAILY PROGRESS FILE Cale Elementary School

In agreement with students and staff members at Cale Elementary School, an advisory committee is recommending Mountain View for the school’s next name.

That recommendation, decided Tuesday evening in closed session following a community meeting, will formally be presented to the School Board next month, according to an announcement from the division Wednesday afternoon.

The committee, made up of parents, community members and teachers, had originally planned to make its recommendation Jan. 8 but changed course Tuesday night.

Community members who spoke at the meeting, as well as a majority of students and staff members who voted, were in favor Mountain View because, they said, the mountains are a feature that unite a range of people across the area.

“The school community has spoken,” committee chairman Dennis Rooker said in the Wednesday statement, referencing that vote. “Our committee intended to decide on our recommendation in early January, but following the information we received last evening, it was clear that Mountain View, by far, was the popular choice, and it also was a name that generated complete agreement from all committee members. There was no reason to keep students, parents, teachers and staff wondering any longer about our recommendation.”

Other potential names were Avon, Avon Ridge, Southside, Biscuit Run and Mill Creek. All reflected the school’s geographic location. The Carter Mountain range lies to the east of the school and is visible throughout Cale’s campus.

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If the committee’s recommendation holds, Cale would become the ninth school in Virginia to be named Mountain View, according to state data.

In a community survey about potential names, Mountain View received the most submissions at 36. The committee received more than 250 individual suggestions.

Cale Elementary, named for former schools Superintendent Paul H. Cale in 1989, is one of 14 schools named after an individual. It’s the first school to go through a naming review,and the division plans to reassess all those schools. However, the process will change for future reviews, and school communities will have the opportunity to stick with the current name.

Cale led the school system from 1947 to 1969. The advisory committee spent months reviewing his tenure and legacy before recommending in September that the school’s name should change.

In a statement, schools Superintendent Matt Haas applauded the leadership of the school’s students, staff and families as well as how the Cale community came together through the renaming process.

“They had an opportunity that may well be relatively rare in public education, which is to decide for themselves what should be their school’s name,” he said.

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