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Marin School Board Votes To Rename Drake High After Beloved, Former Teacher Archie Williams

SAN ANSELMO (CBS SF) -- School officials in Marin County voted unanimously to rename Drake High School after former teacher, Olympic gold medalist and Tuskegee Airman Archie Williams, on Tuesday night.

The Tamalpais Union School District voted 5-0, Tuesday night, to approve the new name.

The school was originally named after Sir Francis Drake, whose role in the English slave trade had been largely overlooked until last summer, when protests over racial injustice broke out around the world after the killing of George Floyd, prompting many schools and universities to reexamine the lives of their namesakes.

A selection committee considered dozens of names before settling on Williams, who taught Math and coached at the school for 21 years.

Before teaching, Williams won the gold medal for the U.S. in the 400 meters at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games in Nazi Germany, and later helped reshape America's racist military policies, becoming a pilot in the World War II's all black regiment in the U.S. Army Air Corps.

Williams died in 1993 at the age of 78.

According to the Marin Independent Journal, the school will likely spend the summer changing its signage, uniforms and sports fields in time for the 2021 Fall semester.

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