Lexington’s Carter G. Woodson Preparatory Academy on Monday was renamed the George Washington Carver STEM Academy for Boys by the Fayette County Public Schools board.
Soraya Matthews, chief of Fayette diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging, said two recommendations were made by the Fayette Public Schools Equity Council. Carver is a Black American scientist who died in the 1940’s. The other suggestion was Henry Boyd STEM Academy for Boys.
Boyd was a Black Kentucky native whose career was rooted in STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, Matthews said.
Fayette County Public Schools’ first all-boys STEM elementary school launched in the summer of 2021 for the 2021-2022 school year housed in the renovated Johnson Elementary building on Sixth Street. At that time, the school was named after a current all-boys program within the district, Carter G. Woodson Academy, which serves middle and high school students.
But district officials recently thought that it needed a new brand to avoid confusing families who mistakenly thought the prep school replicated the current middle and high school Carter G. Woodson Academy.
The prep academy began with boys in grades K-2 and will add a grade level each year. The STEM-focused curriculum is taught through the lens of African-American history, culture, and culturally responsive teaching and learning strategies, district officials said.
Board member Stephanie Spires said the name change would go into effect July 1.
When Fayette schools were desegregated it was under the promise that when new schools were reopened, they would be named after segregated schools that closed such as Booker T. Washington, Dunbar, Douglass and George Washington Carver.