Featured Article: Alvarado Middle School to be Renamed After Filipino American Leaders

Community groups in favor of the name change rallied inside the district office not just to celebrate but talk about the next steps. Community building would be their no. 1 priority, said Logan teacher Ivan Santos.

After months of heated discussions and rallies, the New Haven Board of Education approved a motion Tuesday night to rename Alvarado Middle School after Filipino-American leaders.

Board members voted 3-2 in favor of changing the school’s name to Iltliong-Veracruz Middle School after Filipino American labor leaders Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz, making it the first school in the country to name a school after Filipino Americans.

However, the approved motion, made by board member Michelle Matthews, calls for the name to take effect no sooner than the fall of 2015 and only after an implementation plan is created and funds are entirely secured.

Supporting community organizations have pledged to cover the administrative costs of changing the school’s name, which Superintendent Kari McVeigh estimated Tuesday night at more than $15,000. Additional costs, such as uniforms, would bring the cost up to $26,000, but officials said AMS-branded uniforms and teaching materials would still be used until their current supplies run out.

Tuesday night’s decision did not come easy.

Board members clashed after hearing speakers voice many of the same concerns that have been brought up before — money, unity, divisions, maintaining history, creating history.

Even Anthony Chavez, grandson of Cesar Chavez, attended the meeting to speak to the role Itliong and Vera Cruz played in his grandfather’s legacy and workers’ rights. Itliong and Vera Cruz helped organize the 1965 Delano Grape Strike, which led to the United Farm Workers movement.

Chavez said his grandfather’s work would not have been whole without the help of Itliong and Vera Cruz and that renaming the school would “bring about a great unity.”

While “unity” has been a slogan on both sides of the discussion, Tuesday night’s buzzword was “process.”

Article from: unioncity.patch.com