RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Barack Obama Elementary School celebrated its 100th-year anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 22, with a fall extravaganza featuring food, games, student performances and happy trips down memory lane.
The school, which is located at 3101 Fendall Avenue in Richmond, was formerly known as J.E.B. Stuart Elementary — named after a Confederate general — until 2020, when it was renamed in honor of the country’s 44th president.
John B. King Jr., the former education secretary in the Obama administration, had attended the school’s dedication and renaming ceremony along with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and school leaders in 2020.
Scenes from Barack Obama Elementary School’s Centennial celebration on Saturday. Photos: Howard Williams / 8News
Principal Jennifer K. Moore spoke with 8News at Saturday’s Centennial celebration about the significance of the school’s new name.
“When the name change came about, we were already proud to be the home of the Stars, but to be the home of the Barack Obama Elementary School Stars, just gave another boost to our morale,” Moore said.
“We love this place, probably no matter what the name would be. But to be named after the first African American president of the United States of America? It just gives the children a new spark in their eyes when you tell them that,” Moore added.
A performance by students at the Barack Obama Elementary Centennial celebration. Photo: Howard Williams / 8News
The Centennial celebration kicked off at 10 a.m., and students, parents, school staff and community members were asked to record positive memories of their time at the elementary school. In addition to food and games, there were contests and raffles, as well as a performance by the school’s student chorus group.
“A hundred years means that we’ve been doing this, and we’ve been doing it right for a long time. And we’re gonna try to do it right for another hundred years,” Moore said.