Abilene ISD board chooses new names for 3 elementary schools named after confederate leaders

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — The Abilene Independent School District Board of Trustees has chosen new names for three elementary schools in the Key City.

In a 6-1 vote held at Thursday night’s board meeting, trustees voted to rename Lee Elementary after Robert and Sammye Stafford, who AISD referred to in a tweet as “education pioneers to African American families in Abilene.”

The name Robert and Sammye Stafford Elementary School will go into effect for the 2021-22 school year, according to AISD.

The board then voted 6-1 to rename Johnston Elementary School after Eugene Purcell. AISD says Purcell spent 37 years as a PE teacher.

In another 6-1 vote, the board will rename Jackson Elementary School after Dr. Jose Alcorta Sr., a longtime Abilene educator.

AISD says the new school names will go into effect for the 2021-2022 school year.

The board unanimously voted to change the monikers of four schools in the district that were named after confederate leaders in Sept. 2020.

Reagan Elementary is the other school whose name will also change as part of the unanimous decision. No decisions were made regarding the new name at Thursday night’s meeting.

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