COVINGTON - During Tuesday's monthly meeting, the Newton County Board of Education named the new elementary school being built on Kirkland Road after Georgia's state tree.
Board member Cathy Dobbs originally suggested the name Live Oak Elementary School in the board's work session earlier this month, and board member C.C. Bates suggested the name again during Tuesday's meeting after she noted that the list of suggested names from the public contained several tree names. She said she wanted to tie them all together and name the school after the state tree.
Fellow board member Johnny Smith made the motion to accept their suggestion, followed by a second from Dobbs.
"We try to have some regional or historical significance, and it's a state tree, so children will be able to learn that it is the state tree," Dobbs said. "Although we have no live oak on that property (now), we surely can plant one."
Board member Eddie Johnson was the only member to oppose the name Live Oak Elementary School.
At the board's work session earlier this month, Johnson suggested the board change its policy regarding naming schools, which prevents them being named after individuals whose families who have not donated money or the land for use by the school system, after he saw suggestions from the public included names like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama and Carroll O'Connor.
The board members discussed at that work session delaying the naming of the new elementary school to revisit its policy that was changed about two years ago; however, Board Chairman Almond Turner said in Tuesday's regular meeting when the naming of the new elementary school came up on the agenda that since the public has already submitted names under that policy, he felt they should name the school that night and look at the policy at another time a new school is constructed and ready for naming. Johnson, again, was the only board member who voted against the request to choose a name for the school that night.
Other names for the elementary school suggested by board members included Dry Pond, Pine Ridge, Woodridge and Windy Hill, among others.
Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.