At its Thursday, Feb. 9 meeting, the Clarke County Board of Education voted to rename Alps Road Elementary School to Bettye Henderson Holston Elementary School and to rename Chase Street Elementary School to Johnnie Lay Burks Elementary School.
The votes were based on honoring the first African-American teachers assigned to predominantly white schools in the 1960s. Integration of the Clarke County School District’s faculty began in August 1966. Under a federally-approved plan, the district placed five African-American teachers at all-white schools. Bettye Holston and Johnnie Burks were among those five teachers — Burks at Chase Street and Holston at Alps Road.
The votes followed more than an hour of public comments at the meeting, during which the majority of those who spoke offered their support for the renaming of these schools.
An effective date for the renaming of the schools was not included in the vote and will be determined and announced at a later date.
Following the vote during Thursday’s meeting to rename Alps Road Elementary, the motion that passed to rename Chase Street Elementary included a provision that a review of Board Policy FDC: Naming Facilities be conducted.