An elementary school in metro Atlanta will now share the same name as the former First Lady.
CNN reports the Clayton County Board of Education voted last week to rename South Clayton Elementary School the Michelle Obama STEM Elementary School. School board member Ophelia Burroughs says this move shines a light on accomplished women and promotes inclusivity for future generations.
"I just felt like there aren't many places named after women," Burroughs said to CNN. "We are trying to push forward in our society, because we have been left behind for so long."
Michelle Obama has connections to the Clayton community through her great-great-great grandmother. The New York Times traced Obama's ancestry back to Melvania Shields in 2009. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has since reported that Shields was enslaved on a farm in Rex, Georgia in Clayton County.
This helped sway the school board to name the building after Obama. The school is set to open in July in Jonesboro and the board is now awaiting Obama's approval so that South Clayton Elementary School can be dedicated in her honor. Yet if Obama chooses to decline the gesture, the school will be named after the late civil rights activist and Georgia politician, Rep. John Lewis, who finished second in the voting.
"If Michelle Obama says no, then you have John Lewis as a backup," Burroughs said.
South Clayton Elementary won't be the first school in the Atlanta area to be named after the Obamas as there is a Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary School in the city as well.