LI School Renamed for Obama

Christina Hernandez, Newsday (New York), November 21, 2008

Like Barack Obama’s campaign, the plan to rename a Hempstead school after the president-elect was “a remarkable grassroots approach,” the district superintendent said Friday.

At a meeting Thursday night, the five-member Hempstead school board voted unanimously to rename one of its schools Barack Obama Elementary School, said Superintendent Joseph Laria.

The change was effective immediately, although the district does not have a new sign yet. The school, formerly called Ludlum Elementary School, is on William Street in Hempstead.

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The move could herald a name wave—schools, streets, parks, people—following Obama’s historic rise to the presidency.

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The new name will appear on a sign in front of the building and on stationery, “hopefully before Christmas,” at a cost of several thousand dollars to the district, Laria said.

The change will be formalized at a ceremony sometime in December. School officials are hoping Gov. David Paterson can attend. The state’s first black governor graduated from Hempstead High School.

The prime minister of the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda has said he’s taking measures to have Boggy Peak renamed Mount Obama. In Portland, Ore., students want to rename Clark K-8 At Binnsmead school. Elsewhere on Long Island, the Clear Stream Avenue School in Valley Stream will consider a renaming resolution in December. And parents already have been naming newborns Barack.

In Opa-locka, Florida, the city council is considering naming a street after Obama, as well, the Miami Herald reports.

 Students by Ethnicity 

 This School 

 New York School Average 

% American Indian

n/a

n/a

% Asian

5%

7%

% Hispanic

59%

21%

% Black

35%

21%

% White

1%

49%

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