Spraggs-Key Auditorium Dedicated

By Ruthann Carr



Fluvanna County residents gathered Sunday (Nov. 17) to honor two former Central Elementary heroes: Paul Spraggs and Elva Key.

Spraggs was principal from 1958-1982. Key worked full-time as Central Elementary’s secretary from 1962-2001, then part-time until 2012.

The singing group “Odyssey of Soul” performed and Fluvanna School Education leaders past and present spoke to close to 200 people who attended the ceremony.

After the event, Paul Spraggs Jr. spoke of his father and the “unique spirit” that ruled at Central Elementary.

“He was the principal, but also a minister and a lot of us who were in his parish also attended Central,” Spraggs Jr. said. “It was a great dynamic. Back then, teachers in school were highly regarded. The community worked together and knowing teachers and parents worked shoulder-to-shoulder commanded the respect of the community. It would be good to get back to that.”

Karen Bland Cooper echoed that sentiment.

“Not only was Mr. Spraggs my principal, he was my pastor (Byrd Grove Baptist Church) so his posture commanded my attention not just five days a week, but seven,” Bland-Cooper said, laughing. “He stood out in the county. It wasn’t just his posture. He was a smart man; an intelligent man. This is a wonderful honor bestowed on him.”

Fork Union’s representative on the County Board of Supervisors, Mozell Booker, said she worked with both Spraggs and Key.

“I was a teacher here and this is where I practiced being a principal,” Booker said. “I talk about Mr. Spraggs every time I give my presentation to the Fluvanna Leadership Development class.”

School Superintendent Chuck Winkler attended the ceremony.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to know two Flucos who have done so much for the county and the students over the years,” Winkler said.

Key’s daughter, Cheryl Key Stewart, perhaps knows her best.

“She’s worked long and hard and the remarks people said about her are true,” Stewart said. “She was the disciplinarian at home and an excellent mother and friend. She and Mr. Spraggs worked hand-in-hand together. This is an extreme honor.”

Linda Staiger met Elva Keys in 2017 and the pair had an instant bond.

“Simply put, I love her. She’s my friend. She’s the most courageous woman I’ve met and she’s guided by her faith. I think one of the funniest and truest things that were said today about her is: ‘She was the Google of Fluvanna before there was a Google. She knew everyone. She knew every student. She touched more lives in our community than anyone else.’”

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