Board to review suggested school names

COVINGTON - Christmas gift lists aren't the only lists the Newton County Board of Education members will look at this holiday season - they also will mull over dozens of suggested names for the new elementary school on Kirkland Road near Jack Neely Road.

At its combined work session and meeting last week, the board released a list of names that the Newton County School System received from the community, which it solicited in November and December.

Last year when the board asked for the community's help in naming what is now South Salem Elementary and Liberty Middle schools, the school system only received about 25 suggestions, but this year's new online polling system allowed the school board to receive many more suggestions.

The received names include geographic locations, political and community figures and other general names.

According to online survey results, suggested names include Barack Obama Elementary School, Carroll O'Connor Elementary School, Covington Elementary School, Crossroads Elementary School, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, Evergreen Elementary School, Harvard Elementary School, Jack Neely or Neely Elementary School, Kirkland or Kirkland Road Elementary School and T.K. Adams Elementary School.

"When people say the name Carol O'Conner (sic.), I think of Covington," wrote one Web site visitor.

"We are experiencing (a) historical event in front of our eyes with the election of the first African-American President; and nothing will be more fitting than to name this elementary school Barack Obama Elementary School," wrote another visitor.

"Mr. Ted Neely was a life-long resident to Newton County and only recently passed away," wrote another visitor. "He is from the area and farmed many years. I believe the family would be honored for such recognition."

At its Jan. 13 work session, the board will discuss the names and also can suggest their own names before they narrow the list to no more than six names. At its Jan. 20 regular meeting, the board members will vote on a name for the new elementary school, which will be the county's 14th elementary school and is expected to open over the summer in time for the 2009-10 school year.

All board meetings begin at 7 p.m. in the board room at the Newton BOE building located at 2109 Newton Drive N.E. in Covington.

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

SideBar: At A Glance

Community Suggested Names for New Elementary School

· B.C. Crowell Elementary

· Barack Obama Elementary

· Carroll O'Connor Elementary

· Covington Elementary

· Cowan Elementary

· Crossroads Elementary

· Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary

· Harvard Elementary

· Jack Neely Elementary

· Kirkland Elementary

· Kirkland Road Elementary

· Neely Elementary

· Pinelands Elementary

· T.K. Adams Elementary

· Valley Elementary

· Windy Hill Elementary

Source: Newton County School System