Students to learn inside the Sonia Sotomayor room at Girls Prep

A South Bronx school is racing to be the first to honor Sonia Sotomayor, the federal judge whose Supreme Court appointment is all but assured after being endorsed by the Senate Judiciary Committee today. 

At the brand-new Girls Prep Bronx charter school, one of the six classrooms opening this fall will be named after Sotomayor, who attended Catholic school just seven minutes away from Girls Prep’s home inside MS 302. Girls Prep CEO Miriam Raccah told me she made the decision with the school’s principal, Josie Carbone, after discussing Sotomayor’s Bronx roots.

“We mutually decided that we absolutely had to name a classroom after her,” said Miriam Raccah, the CEO of Girls Prep. “It just was a no-brainer.”

The naming is in keeping with a tradition at Girls Prep, a Lower East Side charter school that opened in 2005. At the original school, classrooms are named for Congresswoman Bella Abzug, the architect Zaha Hadid, and Brenda Berkman, who sued the city to open the fire department to women. Teachers often tell their students about their classrooms’ namesakes, Raccah said. She said the teacher who worked in the Bella Abzug room gave her students extra lessons about government.