School Climate & Safety

New Schools’ Names Reflect Rise In Patriotism

By Michelle Galley — March 06, 2002 3 min read

Eagle’s Pride. Peace. America. Veteran’s Remembrance. World Trade Center.

With patriotic fervor surging since the terrorist attacks last September, these and other all-American names have been suggested for new schools being opened in communities around the country.

Such names “are timeless and have a lot meaning,” said Kevin L. Reeks, a spokesman for the Lima school district in northwestern Ohio, which has decided to name five new elementary schools Freedom, Unity, Heritage, Liberty, and Independence.

The 5,500-student district received more than 200 suggestions on what to name the schools, including a batch of suggestions to honor U.S. presidents and district alumni. But the school board opted for the patriotic names when it made its final decision Jan. 29, Mr. Reeks said.

Other schools nationwide have acquired decidedly patriotic names over the years. Observers say the last wave, which saw the creation of schools like Independence and Centennial high schools in Columbus, Ohio, came in honor of the nation’s 200th birthday in 1976.

“Any time there is a change in what is happening in the world, schools might reflect that in the naming of their schools,” said Renee Williams Hockaday, a spokeswoman for the National School Boards Association in Alexandria, Va.

Contentious Process

Naming schools can be a complicated and controversial process, especially when community members and school boards clash. (“Trouble Lurks Behind Task of Naming Schools,” Jan. 14, 1998.)

The Hillsborough County school district in Florida recently ran into some opposition when board members considered naming either a new middle school or high school after a former superintendent of the 170,000-student district.

Linda E. Cobbe, a spokeswoman for the district, which includes Tampa, said local residents rallied around an alternative—naming the schools Liberty Middle School and Freedom High School.

Those suggestions came from the mother of a Hillsborough student who told her son she was going to the board meeting at which the new school names would be discussed. Her son suggested that schools be given patriotic names because of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The school board ultimately agreed.

Just north of Hillsborough County, many residents in Florida’s 50,000- student Pasco County district also suggested patriotic names for a new school. There, Veteran’s Remembrance, Honor, Eagle’s Pride, United Nations, Independence, and Peace were all in the running for a 500-student elementary school set to open next fall, said Lori Hartwig Yusko, a spokeswoman for the district.

But the Pasco County school board opted to name the new school Wesley Chapel, because it will be built on a campus with a high school that has the same name.

What’s in a Name?

“It isn’t that we didn’t value the patriotic names,” Ms. Yusko said. Rather, the school board has been trying to give new schools names that coincide somehow with their locations, so that people moving into the area will be able to identify each school more easily, she said.

Meanwhile, in Tucson, Ariz., the school board will decide later this spring what to call a new 550-student elementary school that will open in the fall.

So far, the district has received more than 70 suggestions, including World Trade Center, Unity, United We Stand, and CFP 911, which stands for “Citizens, Firefighters, and Police, Sept. 11.”

Estella Zavala, a spokeswoman for the 63,000-student district, said a committee appointed by the superintendent would pare the suggestions and decide which ones the school board should consider.

Some of the other names in the running in Tucson include McCain—after Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain, who represents Arizona— Sunset, Aztec, Tucson Mountain, and Sean Elliot, for a graduate of the district who plays professional basketball for the San Antonio Spurs.

A version of this article appeared in the March 06, 2002 edition of Education Week as New Schools’ Names Reflect Rise In Patriotism

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Interactive Learning Best Practices: Creative Ways Interactive Displays Engage Students
Students and teachers alike struggle in our newly hybrid world where learning takes place partly on-site and partly online. Focus, engagement, and motivation have become big concerns in this transition. In this webinar, we will
Content provided by Samsung
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety How Biden's New Actions on Guns Could Affect Students and Schools
President Joe Biden announced steps to prevent gun violence through executive action and a push for state and federal legislation.
5 min read
High school students rally at the Capitol in Washington on Feb. 21 in support of those affected at the Parkland High School shooting in Florida.
High school students rally at the U.S. Capitol in February 2018, three days after a former student shot and killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla.<br/>
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
School Climate & Safety What the Research Says Teens Are Driving COVID-19 Surges. Can Schools Counteract That?
Teenagers and young adults are now driving COVID-19 cases in some states, and experts say schools may be critical in preventing outbreaks.
4 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Climate & Safety Opinion Empowering Teachers and Parents to Speak Up on School Safety
Rick Hess shares practical suggestions from Max Eden on how to ensure school discipline reforms are indeed keeping students and staff safe.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Climate & Safety Audio Driving the School Bus, Waiting for a Vaccine
A veteran bus driver holds out hope he won't get COVID-19 while awaiting his first vaccination.
3 min read
Eric Griffith, 55, poses for a portrait in front of a school bus in Jacksonville, Fla. on Thursday, March 18, 2021. Griffith, who has been a school bus driver for 20 years, delivered meals and educational materials during the first couple months of the coronavirus pandemic when schools shifted to remote learning.
Eric Griffith has been a bus driver for Duval County schools in Jacksonville, Fla., for 20 years. He's been driving students all year and hopes to get his coronavirus vaccine soon.
Charlotte Kesl for Education Week