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New Elementary School Closer to Getting a Name


This undated photo released by the Nevada Air National Guard shows Sparks Middle school math teacher and former Marine Michael Landsberry. (AP Photo/Nevada Air National Guard)

The Washoe County School District’s School Naming Committee on Wednesday narrowed a list of potential names for a new elementary school from almost 100 down to 10.

Scheduled to open by fall 2019, the school will be in the South Meadows area near the Corona Cyan subdivision on land donated by the subdivision’s developer. It’s expected to relieve overcrowding at nearby area elementary schools.

Four of semifinalists are named for the region: South Meadows, Steamboat Creek, Washoe Zephyr and Bella Vista.

The following six semifinalists are named after individuals:

  • John Bohach – a Reno police officer who was shot and killed in 2001 while assisting officers in setting up a perimeter outside a house following a pursuit
  • Ann Jones Carlson – retired elementary school teacher active in education causes
  • Michael Landsberry – Sparks Middle School teacher who was shot dead in fall 2013 while trying to protect students from a 12-year-old who opened fire on campus
  • Mary Leman – retired teacher and administrator active in education causes
  • Nick Poulakidas – retired teacher and administrator active in education causes
  • Debbie Smith – late state senator who advocated for education as a legislator

“We are grateful to the community for submitting so many great name suggestions for this new elementary school,” committee chairman Frank Perez said in a statement. “It was truly difficult to narrow it down to only 10 semi-finalists.

“The School Naming Committee has a tough job ahead to pick between these great remaining candidates. It is truly an honor for all of us on the committee to be a part of something this meaningful, and greatly appreciate the community’s input on this major decision.”

Nomination forms asked submitters about the nominees’ role in education, how they impacted children and how they served the public. If suggesting a regional name, they were asked to provide geographic significance. Committee members rated each based on one’s role in education, impact, public service, historian and geographical significance and contributions to the community.

The 11-member naming committee is made up of one district representative selected by the superintendent, seven members of the public (one from each trustee district), one high school student and two at-large members. Terms are staggered and expire in either June 2018 or June 2019.

The Board of Trustees is scheduled to consider names at its meeting in early October.

Public input can be provided online: http://www.wcsdbuilding.com/school-naming

Funds for school construction to alleviate crowding are coming from November’s 0.54 percent voter-approved sales tax increase. Such dollars can go only toward construction of and refurbishing of facilities. This money cannot be used for teacher or administrator salaries or other school operations.

Carla O'Day
Carla O'Day
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.




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