"My sister loved life. She loved people. But most of all she loved children. As a result of her encouragement, many have been able to accomplish much," Wilson said. "May the many young lives who go through these hallways be reminded of the individual that this school is named for. As they grow in wisdom and knowledge, they will indeed keep the spirit of Mary."
Bill Raglin, vice president of the Kanawha County Board of Education, reminded everyone that the renaming of the school isn't just about a sign outside the building.
"If Mary were here, she would tell you that bricks and mortar don't make an education. She would be proud to see her name on the school, but she would be even prouder if children walked out of here with a first-class education," he said. "We need to honor her by making sure every child is given the best shot possible."
Nearly 100 percent of Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and the school showed some of the lowest standardized test scores in the state this year.
That's why the school's vice principal, Beth Sturgill, believes the new name ties the community and the students together more than ever and can lead to academic achievement.
"This is a chance to reach out and let the children know that there are people who care about them and believe in them [and] let them know that they can reach their goals. Let's honor Ms. Snow's memory by doing that," Sturgill said.
Ashley Grogg, a teacher and former faculty senate president at the school, said the renaming marks new beginnings.
"By renaming our school, we are instilling Ms. Snow's beliefs. We are no longer a school and a community, we are one: The Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School," she said.
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.