Tysons, VA

The Fairfax County School Board will select a new name for Mosby Woods Elementary School in Fairfax around 8 p.m. during its regular meeting tonight.

The board voted on Oct. 8 to rename Mosby Woods after at-large member Karen Keys-Gamarra and Providence District Representative Karl Frisch proposed replacing the moniker of Col. John S. Mosby, who led a Virginia calvary battalion for the Confederacy during the U.S. Civil War.

Feedback collected from a community meeting on Oct. 1 suggests the renaming has widespread support, as commenters said Mosby’s role as a Confederate officer clashes with Fairfax County Public Schools’ current values of diversity and inclusivity. Some descendants of Mosby also wrote a letter to the school board advocating for a change.

Here are the possible names that FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand recommended on Oct. 22:

  • Five Oaks — the name of the road where the school is located
  • Mosaic — a nod to the school’s proximity to the Mosaic District
  • Mary McBride — a teacher who helped start a school near Fairfax Court House for the children of freed slaves after the Civil War
  • Barbara Rose Johns — a student civil rights activist who led a strike in protest of conditions at the all-black Moton High School in Farmville, Va., paving the way for Brown v. Board of Education

Brabrand also suggested the late NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, but that has presumably been taken out of the running after the City of Fairfax got to it first for Lanier Middle School.

The school board held a public hearing on the possible new name yesterday (Wednesday).

Which of the recommendations would you prefer to replace Mosby Woods? Do you think the board should choose an entirely different name, or do you object to changing the school’s name in the first place?

Photo via FCPS

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