By Emily Younker
JOPLIN, Mo. —
After weeks of brainstorming and several rounds of voting, top choices for the name of Joplin’s newest elementary school are New Hope, Skyline, Cornerstone, Soaring Heights and Parkwood.
“It was kind of fun,” said Doug Adams, who helped lead a group of parents, students and staff members that was tasked with choosing name options for the school. “The toughest thing was boiling it down because there were just so many names out there.”
The final name could be chosen tonight from among those options by members of the Board of Education, President Randy Steele said.
“It’s exciting to know we’re about to name a school that will leave a legacy for years to come,” he said.
The elementary school is being built on East 20th Street next to East Middle School and is projected to be complete in December. It will house students from Duenweg and Duquesne schools, who are currently attending one school in Duenweg.
The names were developed by a committee of parents and past and current teachers from the two feeder schools, said Adams, who is a former principal of both schools.
Adams said the committee met for several weeks to brainstorm and gather feedback and suggestions from parents and residents of Duenweg and Duquesne through Facebook and newsletters that went home with students. Students also came up with suggested names in their classes, and voted on their favorites using stickers and large wall charts inside their school, he said.
After the committee had narrowed the list down to five, a final round of voting by students highlighted Soaring Heights and New Hope as their favorites, Adams said.
He said he plans to submit the names to the school board for consideration and leave the decision in its hands.
“My approach was just to boil it down to the few names, and I will give them the exact number of votes from the kids and the parents, and of course it’ll be theirs to do with it what they want,” he said.
Adams said the new school is somewhat unique in that it is not located in an area that easily lends itself to a name. Cecil Floyd, for example, is named after a former Joplin educator, and Kelsey Norman is named after the individual who owned or developed that section of town, he said.
“There seemed to be basically no parameters” for this school, he said. “It was just absolutely blue-sky anything, so we really had to work hard to boil things down.”
THE NAME OF PARKWOOD as an option for the new elementary school is not necessarily based on the former Parkwood High School in Joplin, but on Parkwood Lane, the short street that appears to dissect the elementary portion of the campus from East Middle School, said Doug Adams, a member of the naming committee.