RADNOR – In a bid to eliminate its former nickname from school grounds, Radnor School District officials had planned on changing the name of the roadway entering the high school this week.
Now they’ve put a month-long hold on the plan.
The private road runs from King of Prussia Road through the campus to Radnor Chester Road. The administration had planned on having the board approve a motion to change the name from Raider Road to Emlen Tunnell Way.
Two years ago, the district changed the school’s nickname from Raider to Raptors and said at the time they would have to change other things around campus.
During a facilities committee meeting in March, the administration said they picked Tunnell to honor because it was a way to honor him and “his history as an alum and a community member who has done so much.”
Duirng the board meeting this week, Ken Batchelor, Radnor’s superintendent, requested the board remove the agenda item that would have changed the name until the April meetings.
A reason Batchelor gave for pulling the item from the agenda was partly due to the discussion they’ve been having about the spirit gallery the district is in creating, which will also honor many past alums.
“The administration is going to recommend that we pull that tonight and that we come back and discuss that next month at our facilities committee meeting,” Batchelor said. “Our rationale for that is that we just had a very lengthy discussion at our facilities meeting about our spirit gallery and recognizing alumni, and we’re really excited about how the spirit gallery and the opportunities we have at our high school to recognize past students, current students and as we recognize our alumni we want to also look to how do we recognize our alumni with our streets, with the namings and look at this more broadly, so we are looking to change the name of our street and we’ll go back and discuss some options as we move forward next month at our facilities meeting and we’ll continue that discussion.”
During public comment, Jeffrey Boujoukos of Wayne said renaming the road for Tunnell is also a chance to recognize the community that helped make the man Tunnell became.
“This is a unique opportunity for all of you to recognize an alum, to do justice to history, and to recognize the community that gave birth to Emlen Tunnell and sent him off into the world,” Boujoukos said. “And really his career and his life demonstrate what a special place Radnor and Specifically Radnor High School was for someone who was an African American in a time we all recognize in this country wasn’t always given the same opportunities that everybody else was given outside of Radnor.”
The issue of renaming the road is expected to be raised at meetings later in April.