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School naming sparks creativity
Residents offer up everything from the historical to the whimsical.
By TOM MARSHALL, Times Staff Writer
Published November 15, 2007
BROOKSVILLE - It can't do worse than its present name.
Like an orphan left on the doorstep, Hernando County's newest school is making its way into the world with a proverbial Jane Doe of a title: Elementary J.
By the time the 2,100-student school opens this August for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, officials hope to give it a name with a little inspirational oomph.
Turns out folks have all sorts of suggestions.
Some offer tried-and-true, historical heroes. Neil Armstrong, Hernando DeSoto, Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy, and famed African-American educator Mary Macleod Bethune all get support in recent e-mails to a School Board subcommittee.
A few go even further back in time, while others suggest a man-on-the-street approach. Across the ages, Joan of Arc bumps up on the list next to the humbly named Joey K-8.
Jessica Lunsford, the Citrus County 9-year-old who was murdered in 2005, gets a mention.
Home-proud residents suggest naming the school after Florida, Spring Hill, or Weeki Wachee. And don't forget Gator K-8.
In times of war, a few want Veterans Memorial K-8, Enduring Freedom K-8, or perhaps a tribute to fallen Hernando sons like Army Pfc. Cody Grater, Staff Sgt. Michael W. Schafer, and Marine Sgt. Lea Mills.
A few are downright silly. Power Line K-8, anyone? Try Neverland, or perhaps the Classic Tiger School.
One correspondent, perhaps hoping to influence a national election or curry favor from a future president, opts for a candidate. Make that Rudy Giuliani Public K-8.
There are even a few votes for newly retired school superintendent Wendy Tellone and her husband, Michael.
Tonight at 7, a subcommittee will hear public suggestions in the School Board meeting room at 919 N Broad St., and begin culling a growing list of around 150 school names. It plans to forward a list of three finalists to the board by month's end.