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School board accepting name suggestions

Because construction of the new junior high school on White Oak Road is progressing, officials are beginning to consider the future of the school.

"Significant improvements have been made," Assistant Superintendent Jim Franklin said at the last board meeting. "You'd have to be impressed with the progress that's been made (in the construction)."

During the same meeting, there was some discussion on naming the school, with several principals, one board member and a retired school coach offering their opinion. But the school board wants to hear more. On the school system's website is a survey asking for public input on the school's name.

"We've got close to 100 responses," Superintendent Mark Petersen said. "At each board meeting until we make that decision, I am going to compile the suggestions and comments and give them all to the board."

The discussion during the board meeting included some negative comments on one of the suggestions, but Dr. Petersen said that is no problem. The superintendent expressed concern that people have the idea that discussion means a decision has been made.

"Just because a thought is brought out at the planning meeting, doesn't mean it's set in stone," he said. "That's the only time we have to discuss and get a sense of what the board is feeling."

Dr. Petersen said the survey will be on the website for at least two to three months more. He is also looking at other ways to get input from folks who may not have internet access, such as sending flyers home with the students.

The information requested on the survey is the type of person making the suggestion: teacher, parent, community member, business person, retiree, or student. The second question on the survey is a suggested name for the school. The survey also has an open question with space for comments.

"They can type three pages if they want to," Dr. Petersen said. "Certainly our public has got a right to give input ... and I'll always stand up for that right. Our board will make the final decision, but I'm going to give them every comment that's turned in, so that they'll have access to all of it. I'm just being the facilitator."

To participate in the survey, visit the website at

Web posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007

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