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From Charlottesville City schools:


CHARLOTTESVILLE, July 8, 2024—New names for three Charlottesville City schools will go into effect starting with the 2024-25 school year.


Venable Elementary School will be renamed Trailblazer Elementary School; Clark Elementary School will be renamed Summit Elementary School, and the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center will be renamed the Charlottesville Area Technical Education Center (and will still be known by the acronym CATEC).

In January 2023, the School Board voted to change the name of Clark Elementary School to Summit Elementary School, and Venable Elementary School to Trailblazer Elementary School. These decisions capped a review process that began in the summer of 2020. When Charlottesville City Schools voted to acquire CATEC, the Board approved a slight name change to reflect the school’s mission to provide technical education in the area.

The name Summit Elementary refers to the school’s mountain views; it is also meant to encourage students to both reach new heights and consider themselves “a gathering of leaders,” touching on three meanings of the word summit. The name Clark was for Gen. George Rogers Clark, a Revolutionary War leader who also enslaved people and led in violence against Native Americans.

The name Trailblazer Elementary honors the Charlottesville 12, the students who first desegregated Venable Elementary and Lane High School, as well as their parents and other early desegregation trailblazers in Charlottesville Schools. The name is also an invitation to current students to continue blazing new trails today. The name Venable was for Col. Charles S. Venable, a member of the Confederate Army and math professor at the University of Virginia who perpetuated damaging myths about slavery throughout his life.

The Summit Elementary mascot will remain the “bees,” with the same colors of black and yellow. The Trailblazer Elementary mascot will change from “all-stars” to “trailblazers,” with new colors of black and yellow.

Events to celebrate these new names will be planned for each school:


Charlottesville City Schools families were notified this spring about the pending school name changes. Permanent new signage will be installed by approximately August 2024.

Additionally, because both elementary schools are local polling places, Charlottesville City Schools is working with the City of Charlottesville Voter Registration & Elections to ensure there is a smooth experience for voters in the November election.

The preexisting telephone numbers for CATEC will remain in place for a transitional period, but the public is requested to begin using the following numbers:


Learn more about the Charlottesville City Schools at Our address is 1562 Dairy Road, Charlottesville, VA, 22903. Phone: (434) 245-2400. Fax: (434) 245-2603.

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