Jan 22, 2015
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The community is encouraged to offer input on a proposal to rename Samuel Gompers High School after well regarded local school administrator Sylvester Greenwood.

Public meetings will be held Monday at Pinole Middle School Library, Tuesday at Kennedy High School Library, and on Feb. 2 at Nystrom Elementary School Library. All meetings start at 6:30 p.m.

On Dec. 10, upon community members’ suggestion, a subcommittee of the West Contra Costa Unified School (WCCUSD) District Board of Education recommended renaming the continuation high school after Greenwood, the district said.

Gompers, which focuses on school-to-career education for students ages 16 and over, is currently named after labor leader Samuel Gompers (1850-1924), a national figure credited with establishing many of today’s structure and strategies in the American labor movement.

The suggestion to change the school’s name was not a criticism of Gompers, district spokesperson Marcus Walton said.

“This was a proposal from members of the community who want to honor Mr. Greenwood’s legacy rather than a criticism of Samuel Gompers,” Walton said.

Sylvester Greenwood was both well-known and beloved in West County, having served the school district for 38 years in various posts, beginning as a security officer in the Richmond Unified School District in 1968. He later taught at Adams Junior High and Herry Ells high before becoming dean of students at De Anza High. He also served as Kennedy High’s principal for moving on to become assistant superintendent and interim superintendent. He retired in 2006.

Public members who want to weigh in on whether Gompers should become Greenwood can submit comments in person or by email at communications@wccusd.net.

Gompers is currently located in a temporary campus while a state-of-the-art $54-million campus it will share with Leadership Public Schools-Richmond is completed.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.