Board to choose new name for combined secondary school Tuesday

School District 27 board will meet with one item on the agenda, finalizing a name for the new combined secondary school in Williams Lake.

The School District 27 board has called a special open meeting for Tuesday with one item on the agenda, finalizing a name for the new combined secondary school in Williams Lake.

Starting in September the Columneetza and Williams Lake secondary schools will be operated as one school on two campuses.

During their regular meeting held in 100 Mile House May 28 the board decided on names for the individual campuses.

Columneetza will become the Western campus after the street on which it is located and for the prominent lakecity resident for which the street was originally named.

WLSS will become the Carson campus named for the street on which it is located and the lakecity resident for whom the street was originally named.

Through a process of elimination which involved voting by a board sub-committee, and a survey of grades six to 12 students, superintendent Mark Thiessen says the board has narrowed the long list of names originally suggested by the public down to three finalists which will be voted on tonight.

During the 100 Mile House meeting, he said the board also added another name of its own choosing to the list of finalists. That name is Lake City Secondary which had not been previously suggested. Thiessen says the rationale for the name is that Williams Lake has long been known as the Lake City since it has been developed around the shores of Williams Lake. The other two finalists are Cariboo Central Secondary and Cariboo Crossroads Secondary.

The rationale for Crossroads signifies the intersection of the highways in Williams Lake and that secondary school students are considered to be at a crossroads in their lives.

The two present schools are also joining to become one school, which also signifies that the district is at a crossroads.

The rationale for Cariboo Central Secondary is that it is a regional name since Williams Lake is often seen to be the centre of the Cariboo between 100 Mile House and Quesnel.

More than 30 names were originally suggested for the new middle/secondary school including keeping the former names of Columneetza and WLSS or a combination of the two names.

Some names on the original list of public submissions were funny or reflected the region and activities, names such as: Hogwarts; Hugwarts; Two Wolves;  Stampeder’s; T’exelc; Prosperity, Cougar; Rushing River, River Valley, Valley Heights, Signal Point, Gold Dust; Rocky Point, Gold Trail, Taseko; Cariboo-Chilcotin Revival; and Rustlers.

Numerous names were submitted honouring prominent community members, both living and late including: Rick Hansen, Carey Price, Rudy Johnson, Martin Hamm, William Turkel, William Pinchbeck, Faye Moore, Gabe Pinette, Hazel Huckvale, Chief William and Anne Mackenzie Stevenson.

Anne Stevenson is the name of a former junior seondary school in Williams Lake which is now Thompson Rivers University.

Under the joint management structure for the new combined secondary school on two-campuses the Western campus will be primarily for grades 7, 8 and 9 students. The Carson campus will be primarily for grades 10, 11, and 12 students.

Starting in September Grade 7 will be moved out of elementary schools in the Williams Lake area and be relocated to the Western campus.

This means that for this September, during the transition phase, students now in grades 6 and 7 at local elementary schools will all be moving up to the Western campus starting in September.

An orientation session for Grade 6 students going into Grade 7 was held at the Western campus Monday evening. An orientation session for Grade 7 students going into Grade 8 will be held at the Western campus tonight.


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