Woodson Education Complex

Published 4:09 pm Thursday, April 19, 2012

BUCKINGHAM – What's in a name? For starters, how about history, restoration, pride and hope?

On Wednesday night, the Buckingham County School Board, in a unanimous vote, offered up names for the schools on Route 20 that cover all of the above and more.

Located at the Carter G. Woodson Education Complex, the lower school, for students in kindergarten through second grade, will be Buckingham County Primary School; and, the upper school, for students in the third through fifth grades, Buckingham County Elementary School.

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After opening the April 18 meeting, Chairman Acie Allen turned the gavel over to Vice Chairman Ed Wise.

Allen explained that he was doing so in order to be able to participate in a discussion and/or make a motion.

Reminding he promised at the March meeting that he would read all the letters submitted regarding the naming of the schools, Allen stated, “I have read the 1,387 letters.”

He then moved to name the lower school Buckingham County Primary School and the upper school Buckingham County Elementary School.

“And that the location of the two schools be named the Carter G. Woodson Elementary Education Complex, with an appropriate sign to be erected,” stated Allen.

Thomas Hutcherson, who presented a letter to the board in February requesting the upper elementary school be named in honor of Carter G. Woodson, provided the second.

In that letter, Hutcherson noted that the building was originally named after Carter G. Woodson when it served as a high school for the county's African American students.

Following a brief discussion on the signage, Wise, calling for a vote, asked Allen to repeat his motion.

At that time, Allen offered that a suggestion was made to him before the meeting to delete the word elementary and call the location the Carter G. Woodson Education Complex rather than the Carter G. Woodson Elementary Complex.

“I think that is better,” said Allen, explaining that if in the future the grade levels changed, the name could remain the same. Hutcherson agreed.

After the unanimous vote, Wise handed the gavel back to Allen.

During the citizen comment segment, Charles White, a local historian, author, and newspaper publisher, shared that he began his teaching career at Carter G. Woodson High School in 1955, when he was 25 years-old. “I am 82 now,” he stated.

“I want to express my appreciation and I want to let you know that there are hundreds if not thousands of people across this country who are interested and will be very pleased to find out what you have done,” said White. “Thank you.”

White told The Herald, “I am very pleased that it happened.”

Noting that he taught at Carter G. Woodson High School for 15 years, White stated, “And the sad part about it, I saw them take the sign down. I was just passing by and saw that they were in the process of taking it down.” He added, “It was a very hurting feeling.”

He concluded, “A lot of people will be very happy.”

Carter Godwin Woodson, a renowned educator, author, and historian, was born in the New Canton area of Buckingham in 1875.

In 1912, Woodson became the second African-American to earn a doctorate from Harvard. The son of former slaves, he is best known as the Father of Black History.