The Portland Board of Public Education voted unanimously Tuesday to rename one of the district’s schools in honor of Gerald Talbot, the first African American elected to the Maine Legislature.

Gerald Talbot File photo

Riverton Elementary School will be known as the Gerald E. Talbot Community School. Talbot is a Portland educator, author, civil and human rights activist, as well as a former chairman of the Maine Board of Education.

“As we kick off African American History Month, I’m proud to recommend that you approve renaming the Riverton Elementary School in honor of a man who is living African American history: Gerald E. Talbot,” Superintendent Xavier Botana told the board.

The change is expected to be in place by the start of the 2020-21 school year after the district formally notifies the city and state.

Botana said the most significant cost associated with the renaming will be a new sign, but that is something the district had been pursuing before the change was approved.


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