Monona Grove School Board member Susan Manning expressed frustration she wasn’t asked or chosen to be on the school district’s ad hoc naming committee.

“I don’t know that we actually, as a board, received an opportunity to say that we were interested,” Manning said at the Wednesday, Feb. 12, meeting of the board.

The charter for the committee calls for one school board member to be appointed, even though two were tapped for the committee. Manning said she only serves on one board committee, while other members serve on two or three.

The two board members on the committee are Loreen Gage and Eric Hartz.

“I would have been very interested in serving on this committee,” she said. “I’ve lived in the district for 41 years, and our three children graduated from the school district. I’ve studied the district and been involved in a lot of the things even before coming on the board.”

The committee, which met for the first time in January, is charged with making a recommendation to the school board for naming district facilities, including the new elementary school to be built in Cottage Grove.

Committee members will also review other district buildings and consider whether to recommend new names for any of them.

Manning also encourage district administration to consider adding seniors to the committee or at least soliciting their thoughts, as they would have historical perspective of the district.

The committee make-up consists of up 15 members, including district residents from Monona and Cottage Grove, faculty, staff, students and a board member. Members were recommended by Superintendent Dan Olson and appointed by board President Andrew McKinney.

Joining Gage and Hartz on the committee are Reed Foster, Ally Hilgart, Jason Johnson, Keenan Jones, Amie Martin, Charlotte Miller, Julie Miller, Kate Oliver, Michelle Weiss, Andy Wendling and Max Zukowski. Ex officio members are Superintendent Dan Olson and Katy Byrnes Kaiser, director of communications and community engagement.

“The most important piece of the task of that committee is to really come up with the process in order to determine how to make recommendations to the board in regard to the name of the new school,” Olson said.

The committee will meet at least once each month and prepare its recommendations for the board no later than July 31.

Members will meet again from 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, in Room 310 at the district office, 5301 Monona Drive.

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