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Montgomery County Could Name a School for Michelle Obama Tonight

Obama at a book-tour event in DC last year. Photograph by Evy Mages

A new elementary school in Clarksburg could be named for Michelle Obama this evening, though the former first lady is the second choice of a advisory committee, which favors the name Snowden Farm Elementary School instead. Snowden Farm would nod to Montgomery County’s rural heritage: Thomas Snowden established a dairy farm on the first stagecoach stop outside of Georgetown in 1845, according to the advisory committee’s report, and Joann Woodson, his last remaining descendant, has worked for the county’s recreation department for 33 years.

While Obama’s connections to Clarksburg are less obvious, the committee cites her “inspiring” story: from “humble beginnings” in Chicago to graduating from Princeton and Harvard Law School and, of course, becoming the first African-American first lady. Other names on the committee’s list, in order of its preference: Harriet R. Tubman Elementary School, Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School, Ida B. Wells Elementary School, Clarksburg Village Elementary School.

Obama’s name can be found on a few schools already: Some alongside her husband, as well as solo on institutions in Illinois and California. A MoCo school would, however, be the closest namesake to the family’s home in Washington, DC.

The Montgomery County Board of Education will make a decision at 6:45 PM this evening, and you can watch the proceeding here.

 

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.