ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — In a school renaming ceremony on October 20, 2021, Atlanta Public School officials paid tribute to one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Forrest Hill Academy is now called the Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron New Beginnings Academy.
Aaron’s family and the Atlanta Braves organization took part in the occasion. “It is a heartwarming experience to know that my husband’s name is on this building,” said Aaron’s wife, Billye Suber Aaron. “It’s hard to imagine a better name for this school or a better way to honor Mr. and Mrs. Aaron’s investment in youth and education,” said Danielle Bedasse, the executive director of the Atlanta Braves Foundation.
The alternative school, which serves sixth through twelfth graders, previously bore the name of Confederate General and Ku Klux Klansman Nathan Bedford Forrest. It’s now named after the Hall of Famer who died in January. Aaron made a huge impact on and off the baseball field as a humanitarian and civil rights activist. “What Hank Aaron represents for Atlanta Public Schools in this moment: perseverance, courage in the face of adversity,” said Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring. “We hold fast to the ideology that every student can learn, grow and evolve to become productive citizens,” said Zawadaski Robinson, the school’s principal. “This name now reflects our values. It also invites all of us to look ahead and prepare for the future,” said Atlanta Board of Education Vice Chair Eshe’ Collins.
District officials say it’s the unveiling of a new chapter and another way to celebrate Aaron’s legacy.