`Century' flunks as name for school

Board members point to suggestion's lack of county significance

January 15, 1999|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

Pupils from the Hampstead area will attend the newly named Shiloh Middle School, scheduled to open 20 months from now. But the county's next high school, slated for a 2001 opening in Eldersburg, remains nameless.

Superintendent William H. Hyde's recommendation for the middle school name pleased the Carroll County Board of Education, which officially approved the name at its meeting Wednesday.

However, board members rejected Century High School, Hyde's recommendation for the school in South Carroll, and asked for a new name to be presented at next month's board meeting.

"Century High School is a very nondescript name and has no relevance to Carroll County," said board member Joseph D. Mish. "If you're going to celebrate opening it in a new century, why not call it Millennium High School."

Mish and other board members told Hyde they would prefer a name that conveys the high school's location in the South Carroll area, adjacent to Linton Springs Elementary School.

"My feeling is it ought to have some significance to the people in the community and give some sense of local pride that this is a Carroll County school," he said.

Board member Susan Krebs criticized the board's policy on naming schools, saying that more parents and students should be included in the process. She suggested polling the middle and high school pupils who would be attending the new high school to select its name.

"A high school is their identity for a long time, and I'd like to have some kind of community participation," Krebs said.

The board rejected Krebs' polling idea.

"I think we're wasting too much time on naming a high school," board member Ann M. Ballard said.

When a new county school is to be named, the board invites the public to submit proposals in writing. The names are reviewed by the school's construction planning committee, made up of administrators, teachers, parents and pupils.

The committee recommends three names to the superintendent, who recommends a name to the board.

"The construction planning committee is our link with the community," said Vernon F. Smith, assistant superintendent of administration.

But Krebs said the committee only has a handful of pupils and parents. She asserted that it would have been easy to poll pupils by including the list of submitted school names in PTA newsletters. Pupils could have voted on their top three choices, and the names could have been sent to the superintendent.

"I would have liked to have seen more community input into the final decision, not just the suggestion part of it," Krebs said.

"It's a big deal for these kids."

The three potential high school names submitted to Hyde were: Century High School, Piney Run High School and Linton Springs High School.

The superintendent said he chose Century because elementary schools are named Piney Run and Linton Springs.

The construction planning committee received about 60 submissions of potential high school names from residents.

Some suggestions were geographical: Eldersburg High School, Morgan Run High School, Sykesville High School and Berrett High School.

Some honored school officials: Brian Lockard High School, after the most recent superintendent, and William Hyde High School.

Others had a whimsical quality: Magic High School or Sun and Moon High School.

The three final submissions for the Hampstead area middle school were: Shiloh Middle School, Shiloh Run Middle School and Shiloh Creek Middle School.

"I didn't want to get into a dispute over a body of water," Hyde said of his choice.

Based on information provided by the Carroll Historical Society, Hyde said that Shiloh was a village on the east branch of the Patapsco River in Hampstead.

The town has Shiloh United Methodist Church and Shiloh Road.

Also, Hyde said that "shiloh" is the Hebrew word meaning "place of rest."

"Shiloh can carry it back to its historical significance, and those who sought another meaning could relate back to the Hebrew," Hyde said.

Pub Date: 1/15/99

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