Local News

Moore County School Will Have No Town in its Name

Posted November 25, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Residents of a small town in Moore County are celebrating a small victory. Taylortown was battling to have its only school named after its founders, who were teachers.

It wasn't just a fight about a name, but also about history, politics, and race, and it's undoubtedly the hottest topic in the school building Tuesday. The school has been in Taylortown, a predominantly black, working class town, for 50 years.

The town is often overshadowed by it's neighbor, predominantly white Pinehurst, but now Taylortown residents say they have emerged from that shadow to some extent.

With a unanimous vote, the Moore County School Board ended a bitter controversy. Since July, when the only school in Taylortown was named Pinehurst Year-Round, citizens have been lobbying to have the name changed to honortheirtown.

Taylortown resident Rev. Andrea Weeks says it was a matter of pride.

A committee from the school conducted a survey among school parents, teachers and students. It supported keeping the name Pinehurst, so Taylortown residents felt they were excluded from the decision-making process.

In the end, board members rejected both names, voting, instead, for the name Academy Heights. That was the school's name during years of segregation. Taylortown Mayor Ulysses Barrett told WRAL-TV5'sKelly Wrightno one ever said why Taylortown wasn't considered.

School Board Chairman Buddy Robertson says it was a difficult decision to make.

The conflict is not completely over. The name change to Academy Heights will not be official until July, 1998. The new name will be in place for the beginning of the 1998-1999 academic year.