Niagara Falls elementary school renamed in honor of first Black female school board member


NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Niagara Falls elementary school could soon be renamed after a prominent member of the Black community if the school board passes the resolution next week.

Community group Men Standing Strong Together and members of the Black community proposed the board rename Niagara Street Elementary School to Dr. Bloneva Bond Primary School.

In 1979, Dr. Bloneva Bond was the first African American woman to serve on the Niagara Falls City School District Board of Education. She served until 1984.

According to the district, she owned and operated a beauty salon and worked as a Niagara County social worker for 17 years. She also was appointed to the New York State Health Council and the Health Planning Commission by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Bond; was also affiliated with several other groups.

“School naming is the highest honor the District offers, and I’m excited that we have selected such a deserving individual,” NFCSD Board President Russell Petrozzi said. “Dr. Bond’s legacy is an exceptional example for our students to follow, demonstrating the importance of serving one’s community and supporting the education of our youth.”

In a news release, the school district said they expect the resolution to pass. If approved, the name change would go into effect on September 1, 2022.

A committee comprised of the school board and community members examined the proposal and recommended Dr. Bloneva Bond as the school’s namesake.

The school board will vote on November 18, 2021, at 7 p.m.

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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