The answer to the question, “What’s in a name?” depends on who you’re asking. In the case of students at the newly named Piedmont G.L.O.B.A.L. Academy, the answer is “a lot.” Students and community members in the Piedmont neighborhood in Pleasant Grove gathered at the former John B. Hood Middle School on Oct. 6 to celebrate the school’s new name and academic focus.
The celebration was the culmination of more than six months of effort. Principal LaTonya Lockhart said the more her Hispanic and African American students learned about the school’s original namesake, Confederate General John B. Hood, the more questions they raised. When students and Lockhart took their concerns to district officials last March, trustees supported students’ calls to replace the name with one students felt would better represent them and serve as a source of pride.
After considering several options, the students chose Piedmont G.L.O.B.A.L. Academy, which reflects the school’s surrounding neighborhood and academic aspirations. The Piedmont community originated in the 1960s as an upscale development built on a hilltop in Pleasant Grove with a clear view of downtown Dallas. G.L.O.B.A.L., stands for Global Learning Opportunities through Balanced Academics and Leadership, an academic outlook Principal Lockhart wants to promote among the school’s 1,000-plus students.
Along with the name change, Lockhart says she has begun to see a new attitude on the part of students who now realize their voices matter.
“When we refer to ourselves as being GLOBAL,” says Lockhart, “we are letting the world know that we are cultivating global citizens through habits of mind training, high quality instructional delivery, endless exploration of world-wide opportunities, leadership and service learning experiences.”
As Lockhart and her students see it, a name definitely means a lot.
Watch the above video for an inside look at the name change ceremony.