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Hampton School Board Renames Booker Elementary, John B. Cary Elementary, Spratley Gifted Center, Tucker-Capps Fundamental Elementary, and John Tyler Elementary

At the May 19, 2021, meeting of the Hampton City School Board, the School Board deliberated and took action to change the name of:

Booker Elementary to Albert W. Patrick III Elementary 

John B. Cary Elementary to Mary T. Christian Elementary

Spratley Gifted Center to Ann H. Kilgore Gifted Center

Tucker-Capps Fundamental Elementary to Mary W. Jackson Fundamental Elementary

John Tyler Elementary to Mary S. Peake Elementary

In the spring of 2020, the Hampton City School Board started discussing the need to investigate the origins behind each of the division's school names and the potential need to rename schools. The process was disrupted by the pandemic, with both safety concerns, and the focus on student academic performance. However, this topic remained a priority for the Board, as was demonstrated in March of this year, when the Board approved $150K in the FY22 school operating budget to address school renaming. 

In a special called School Board meeting on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, the Hampton School Board reached a consensus to rename the five schools - Booker Elementary, John B. Cary Elementary, Spratley Gifted Center, Tucker-Capps Fundamental Elementary, and John Tyler Elementary. Based on a report, A History of the Origins of Schools’ Names, from a research committee formed at the request of the Board, these schools rose to the top to rename as early as possible. The School Board held a public hearing on May 12, 2021, to receive feedback from the community on the six names that the Board put forward as the new school names for Booker, Cary, Spratley, Tucker-Capps, and Tyler. 

During the School Board’s deliberation and subsequent unanimous approval of the name changes at the May 19 School Board meeting, School Board Chair Joseph Kilgore shared the following about the selections:

Judge Albert W. Patrick III was a lifelong resident of Hampton. His devotion to the city led him to be very active in the community. He was especially interested in ensuring all children received a first-class education. Also, his daughter is currently an elementary school teacher in Hampton.  

Mary T. Christian was a lifelong resident of Hampton and an elementary school teacher in Hampton for five years. She is noted for many accomplishments, including receiving numerous awards for her work on the integration of public schools. 

Ann H. Kilgore valued education. Her mother was a teacher and principal, Ann herself was an English teacher in Hampton, and both of her daughters are former educators with one going on to be a superintendent of a school division. Ann Kilgore was the city’s first female mayor, had a strong presence throughout the city, and successfully integrated Hampton’s schools and businesses without litigation. 

Mary W. Jackson, who was born in Hampton, was a scientist, aerospace engineer, humanitarian, and trailblazer who paved the way for thousands of others to succeed not only at NASA but throughout the nation. Jackson was the first African-American female engineer at NASA.

Mary S. Peake was a Hampton educator and humanitarian. She is known for conducting classes under the historic Emancipation Oak. Her love of education was so strong, she continued to teach despite her failing health. 

The name transitions will be completed prior to the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.