Hanover Schools to rename Stonewall Jackson Middle, Lee-Davis High following 4-3 vote

Hanover County

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — With a 4-3 vote, the Hanover County School Board decided Tuesday night to change the names of their schools that memorialize Confederate leaders.

Stonewall Jackson Middle School and Lee-Davis High School both are no more as school leaders executed a vote Tuesday that would result in them being renamed.

READ: Hanover School Board to review changing Confederate school names, reopening plans

“We owe it to all of our students to have a nurturing and welcoming environment,” said Robert L. Hundley Jr., of the Chickahominy District.

The votes were as followed:

  • John F. Axselle III, Beaverdam District – Chairman–NO
  • Ola J. Hawkins, Ashland District – Vice-Chair– YES
  • Kelly K. Evko, South Anna District–YES
  • Sterling H. Daniel, Mechanicsville District— YES
  • Robert L. Hundley, Jr., Chickahominy District— YES
  • Norman K. Sulser, Cold Harbor District– NO
  • George E. Sutton, Henry District–NO

Dozens of letters were read aloud during the virtual school board meeting, with residents voicing their opinion on the divisive matter.

The process at play to rename the schools differs from the mascots, according to Superintendent Dr. Michael Gill.

“The naming and dedication does call for a committee to be formed to bring back a singular recommendation to the school board at a later time on what the names of Lee-Davis High School and Stonewall Jackson Middle School will be for the board’s consideration,” Dr. Gill said. “I will charge [Lee Davis] Principal Charles Stevens and [Stonewall Jackson] Principal Quentin Ballard to work with their students and staff under the same timeline to change the mascot at Lee-Davis and Stonewall Jackson Middle School.”

Part of the debate about renaming the schools and mascots involves cost.

A recent estimate from the district says the renaming process – including signage, athletics uniforms and spirit wear – could tally upwards of $500,000.

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