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Board of Education to consider new names

COVINGTON - Like Santa Claus, the Newton County Board of Education has its own list to deal with this holiday season.

The BOE announced a list of suggested names for the new elementary and middle schools being built on Salem Road that were solicited from the community.

In November and December, Superintendent Steven Whatley accepted suggestions through e-mail and mail from community members.

He received about 25 suggestions, many of them referring to the geographical area, such as with Salem, South Newton and Bailey Oaks.

"My wish, hope and prayer is that the land formerly known as the "Bailey Property' - even though the land was not donated to the school system - would still carry the name Bailey in some way," reads a letter from Brenda Bailey Capps, whose family once owned the 43 acres the Newton County School System purchased for the schools.

Some residents also chose fellow members of the county to be honored through the schools. Such names as Adams or G.C. Adams, a long-time teacher in Newton County who founded the Corn Club, now known as 4-H, or T.K. Adams, a former music teacher in Newton County.

"I had the very fortunate opportunity to learn how to play the clarinet under the amazing instruction of Mr. T.K. Adams. I also taught, and still teach, at Ficquett (Elementary School) and had the wonderful opportunity of teaching under Mrs. Adams," reads a letter from Andrea Cleveland. "As they are both such pillars in our community, I feel as though it is only fitting that the new elementary school be named after them. ... It has a nice ring, and what an honor it would be for them both to have a school named after them."

Board members can also submit names for the decision.

At the Jan. 8 BOE work session, the board will narrow the list to no more than six names. At the board's regular meeting Jan. 15, members will vote on the names.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.