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DeKalb becomes first Georgia district to name school for President Obama


From DeKalb County Schools tonight:

  First Public School in Georgia to be Named for the 44th President of the United States

Today, the DeKalb County Board of Education voted unanimously to name a new elementary school (Pre-K to 5) in honor of President Barack Obama.  The new school will be known as the Barack H. Obama Elementary Magnet School of Technology.  This is the first public school in Georgia named for the nation’s 44th chief executive.

The new school will be temporarily located in the former Terry Mill Elementary School, located at 797 Fayetteville Road, Atlanta, pending completion of a new replacement school on the former Clifton Elementary School site at 3132 Clifton Church Road, Decatur.

Total costs for the new school will be $23 million.

Barack H. Obama Elementary Magnet School of Technology, a modern 900-student facility similar to new schools at Fernbank Elementary School and Peachcrest Elementary School, is scheduled to open in January 2017.  Projected enrollment for school year 2017 is 715 students.

“President Obama embodies the values of a strong family, hard work, and education as the means of getting ahead,” said Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green.  “These values are reflected in the DeKalb County School District and are the keys to college and career readiness.”

“President Obama’s public career and his family commitment offer inspiration to our students and staff,” said Dr. Melvin Johnson, chair of the DeKalb County Board of Education.  “The name on this school will remind us every day of the importance of these attributes in being good citizens.”

Board Member Dr. Michael Erwin, who represents the area, and Dr. Ralph Simpson, Regional Superintendent, co-chaired the school naming committee. The naming committee also included two area principals, staff, parents, students, and representatives of the local faith community. The committee identified naming options that were then voted on by students and staff at the school.

“President Obama’s commitment to education demonstrates an understanding of the roles of parents, teachers, and students,” said Dr. Erwin. “He knows the most dedicated teachers and most supportive parents can make a difference if students show up, pay attention, and apply themselves to the fullest extent possible.”


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Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.