October 01, 2006

THE ISSUE: -- In a move that would break with the policy of naming of schools after geographical features, a committee is recommending that the new northeastern elementary school be called Veterans Elementary School. The school was built next to the Yingling-Ridgely VFW Post 7472 in Ellicott City on land that the post sold to the school system.

What do you think of the idea of calling the new school Veterans Elementary School? And in what other instances might it be appropriate for the school system to make exceptions to its naming policy?

Board should OK recommendation

As a parent representative on the school naming committee, and as a community member residing near the new school site, I strongly urge the Board of Education to approve the committee's recommendation of Veterans Elementary School.

These veterans are an integral part of our community; they have a long history of allowing their pavilion, grounds and/or social hall to be used gratis by a long list of Scout groups and community groups. This veterans group, in particular, has gone above and beyond in helping our county by selling land to a school system in desperate search of land. Of course we should honor them - and veterans everywhere - for their service to our country, our county and our local community. I would argue that the name, Veterans Elementary, does not break with school system policy, but in fact follows the "human" geographic feature definition and is a legitimate - and very proper - name for this particular school site.

Diane Goodridge

Ellicott City

Suggested name is tweaked a bit

I completely support honoring the contributions and sacrifices of our veterans in the naming of this new school. It is a decent and appropriate gesture, especially considering the diminishing numbers of our "greatest generation," the veterans of World War II.

This lodge post has a long history in Ellicott City, and reflecting this in the name of the school is proper and fitting. However, I feel that the name "Veterans Elementary School" leaves much to be desired. It is flat and too generic. The new school is strikingly situated on the crest of a hill overlooking the VFW Lodge and surrounding neighborhood. I urge the members of the Board of Education to give their fullest consideration to the name, "Veterans Crest Elementary School," before their final vote in November.

Laura Ressler

Ellicott City

Nothing against vets, but follow the policy

Guidelines/policies should be followed in naming schools. Exceptions soon will be the rule, and confusion will reign. I'm not against "veterans" but I do support the historically significant names of Hilton, Hilton Heights, Old Columbia Pike or Ellicott City.

Joetta Cramm

Ellicott City

Let the children choose the name

Let the children pick the name of their new school. It is important for them to participate in this process. It is the least we could let the 750-plus children do that are getting redistricted from schools and friends that they have grown to love. Besides, didn't the YMCA sell some of its property, too? I don't think it is a good policy to name a public school after any entity that sells land to the county for school use. There are other ways we can honor the VFW and YMCA organizations. How about a plaque at the base of the American flag that would stand outside the school?

Biz Merkey

Ellicott City

More accurate and descriptive

I support naming the new Northeastern Elementary School "Veterans Elementary School."

As it truly sits on "veterans' land," I do not feel it breaks policy; instead, this name is actually more accurate and descriptive than the somewhat contrived "Marriotts Ridge" that was applied to the new high school.

Carolan Stansky

Ellicott City

This is an honor for all veterans

I am a Vietnam-era combat veteran. I am a proud member of Yingling-Ridgely VFW Post 7472 in Ellicott City and represented our post on the naming committee.

The "V" in "VFW" stands for "veterans." Our VFW Post has owned our land for over 55 years in Howard County and is a prominent identifying feature of the landscape on which the school is being constructed. In other words, a geographic landmark. Additionally, we consider ourselves a geographic community comprised of over 400 members who are veterans of foreign wars.

For over 55 years, we have been providing community service and consider the selling of our land to build a much-needed elementary school to be one of the most important milestone achievements of our community service. Our post considers this naming to be an honor for all veterans as well as instilling community and national patriotism.

David Catania

Ellicott City

It is appropriate and worth the effort

Naming the school "Veterans Elementary" would be most appropriate, particularly in the context of today's domestic and international political environment.

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