What's in a name? What should the name of our school be?

Generations of families in Martinsville are used to sending their children to Patrick Henry Elementary School. But the name Patrick Henry is a common school name in Virginia. There are schools named Patrick Henry in Alexandra, Arlington, Richmond, and several other places in the state. Even in Martinsville, there is Patrick Henry Community College and Patrick Henry Elementary School. Many people find this confusing.

Why is Patrick Henry Elementary School in Martinsville named after Patrick Henry? Should it be? Maybe there is a different name that is more appropriate? The Martinsville School Board wants to know what you think?


The name of a school is important. The name of a school is often specific to a community. Schools are often named after people who have some kind of connection to the community or region.

What should the name of your school be? Should it remain the same? Or should it be named after someone else? Use the following links to find information about some famous Virginians that could be considered for the name of your school. Review the information given and determine what you would like to name your school.

You need to create a product to convince Superintendent Heath, Dr. Talley, and the school board what you believe the school should be named. You can create any product you think will make your point. It can be a letter, a poster, a movie—anything! But you have to finish it in the time allotted. Your suggestions will be reviewed by Dr. Talley and Dr. Heath. Be sure to include evidence for your decision and make a convincing argument.

Famous Virginians to consider: