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Naomi L. Brooks Elementary School marquee unveiled

(Updated 6/23) Alexandria greeted a new marquee at the newly named Naomi L. Brooks Elementary School on Tuesday, as the old name of Matthew Maury Elementary will be officially retired on July 1.

Also, the school’s mascot is now the bee and the official school colors are green and blue.

Brooks, a beloved teacher for decades at Charles Houston Elementary School and Cora Kelly Elementary School, passed away last year. Accepting the recognition in her honor were her husband, former Philadelphia City Manager and retired U.S. Army Major Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr., and her son, U.S. Army Major Gen. Leo Brooks, Jr. (Ret.) Brooks’ other son, U.S. Army General Vincent K. Brooks, was not in attendance.

“This is indeed a day to remember,” Brooks, Sr. said, adding that he hoped the school’s new name will inspire students. “Her loss is difficult for all of us, and she’s come and gone and set an example for all of us to follow.”

The school was named Matthew Maury Elementary School for nearly a century, after the Confederate leader and noted oceanographer. The School Board voted for the name change in April after a long community campaign, which also resulted in a new name for T.C. Williams High School, which is named after a racist former superintendent who worked intently against integration. The marquee at T.C. will be removed and the Alexandria City High School name and logo will be unveiled on Wednesday morning, June 23.

“I also think this is a day of reflection,” School Board Vice Chair Veronica Nolan said. “I think we want to give some thought today as to why is there a name change and that we must remember that systemic racism was done by design and impacts so many of our students.”

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