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The Daily Tar Heel

Schools Solicit Name Ideas

The school board has requested community help in deciding the name of the county's second high school, to be completed in 2002.

The board will use ballot boxes to collect name suggestions for the new school and also encourages everyone to participate in the search.

School board Chairwoman Delores Simpson said the naming process is aimed at helping the community adjust to the idea of a new school.

"I think it's good so the community can feel a part of the school," she said. "We shy away from people's names. We want, for lack of a better word, a generic name. It makes the community more accepting of the school."

The new high school will be located on New Grady Brown School Road in Hillsborough, across the street from Grady A. Brown Elementary School.

Although work on the school site has just begun, several name suggestions have already been made, officials said.

"Some of the ballot boxes at the schools are pretty full," said Karen Wallace-Meigs, Orange County Schools spokeswoman. "Our policy states that it can't be named after a person. (The suggestions) tend to have geographic or historical meaning."

Ballots are located at every school in the Orange County district as well as the central office. Additional boxes can be found across the community at Video Plus in White Cross, Handy Andy's in Caldwell, the Orange County Public Library, Orange County Parks and Recreation and Bandido's Mexican Cafe & Cantina on Churton Street, among other places.

Students across Orange County are also invited to make name suggestions.

"We made up a ballot and sent it home with every student in the district," Wallace-Meigs said.

To better inform the public of the name search, a ballot form was also placed in local newspapers, she said.

Although the name search has already started, the school board does not expect the new school to open until the fall of 2002. But officials said they want to name the new school as soon as possible.

"We like to know what the community thinks," Wallace-Meigs said.

After all suggested names have been received, Wallace-Meigs will submit them and the number of times each name was suggested to the New High School Transition Committee.

Wallace-Meigs said the committee, appointed by the school board, will likely choose the name requested most frequently.

Committee members will then submit the compiled suggestions to the school board.

"The final decision lies with the school board," Wallace-Meigs explained.

Pathways Elementary School was named through this process, she said.

Simpson said she personally has not submitted any names for consideration.

"The community usually comes up with such creative names that I just usually leave it up to them," Simpson said.

She also said choosing the name will be a process requiring much consideration.

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"We'll look at all the names, and the committee will narrow it down to about three," Simpson said. "The board will vote, and we will come to a consensus."

Suggestions can be submitted to Karen Wallace-Meigs at 200 E. King St., Hillsborough, NC 27278 or can be sent to Suggestions must include the submitter's name, reason for the suggestion and daytime phone number.

All suggestions must be received by Oct. 26 for consideration.

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