A little fun with school names that never were

By JEFF WEBB, Editor of Editorials
Published December 13, 2007

The Hernando County School Board named another institution of learning Tuesday night. When it opens next summer, the K-8 school just south of Northcliffe Boulevard in Spring Hill will be known as Explorer K-8.

The board made that selection after a committee narrowed the original list of suggestions from about 175 to four.

There was considerable debate among board members, who considered the finalists: DeSoto K-8, Freedom K-8, Independence K-8, Veterans Memorial and Northcliffe K-8. Explorer was a compromise by board members who shied away from naming the school after Hernando DeSoto, who, in addition to being an explorer, was a murderous, pillaging conqueror.

Some of the suggested names that didn't make the finals were pretty darn cute, and ripe for wisecrackers like me. Crystal Clear K-8 (see?). Blue Jay K-8 (for the birds). Magenta K-8 (always operating in the red). Joey K-8 (where Pals are plenty). King Louie K-8 (after all, most of the numbered Louies were kids when they ascended the French throne.)

But it occurred to some folks in our newsroom that several appropriate, if not downright meaningful, names were overlooked. (Okay, so it's a slow news week!) So, with tongues planted firmly in our cheeks, we offer the Names that Never Were.

- Overcrowded K-8, Let's face it; it soon will be.

- Revolving Door K-8, named in honor of our county administrators, past and future.

- Merit Pay Middle, where it's all about the teachers.

- Sinkhole K-8, where the insurance premiums are higher than the enrollment.

- FCAT Academy. After all, what thing or person has had a greater impact on education in Florida than that blasted standardized test.

- Whatsamatta U. C'mon, you know the world was a better place when Bullwinkle and Rocky ruled.

- GPS K-8. For those who prefer to name schools after their geography.

- Evolution Elementary, where religion trumps science every time.

- Affordable Housing K-8. After the kids clear out in the afternoon, the school district can rent the rooms overnight to underpaid teachers, cops, Wal-Mart workers, etc.

- Watson Elementary. No kidding, Sherlock.

- Government Gone Wild K-8, where students in each class share one book, in which the word "tax" has been redacted.

- RIP K-8, for those who insist that only the dearly departed be eligible for naming honors.

- (Your Name Here) K-8,for the highest bidder who thinks RIP K-8 is an old-fashioned tradition.

So, there you have it. You're invited to come up with your own gibes and e-mail them to me. I'll put them with mine and forward them - minus your name, if you wish - to School Board members for their next school-naming occasion.

Jeff Webb can be reached at webb@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6123.

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